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Posts Tagged ‘Architecture’

Yes, LAMDA or the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art is the next building west of the studios after Colet House, or more precisely it is a complex of three buildings.

LAMDA Building Main Entrance

LAMDA Building Main Entrance

The institutions that combined to form LAMDA actually date from 1861 and include the London Academy of Music making the Academy one of the oldest of its kind.  It moved here in 2003 (the site was formerly occupied by the Royal Ballet School, see my earlier entry on Margot Fonteyn).

For us the school has two advantages.  Firstly, there are constantly new productions to check out right in front of our door (see for upcoming productions on LAMDA’s site here).  And secondly, they have some grand plans for the site.  They chose Niall McLaughlin Architects and came up with this exiting idea:

The new building!

The new building!

I will be coming back  for some more drama even when it is not next door anymore…

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Barons Keep

Photo by Maggie Jones

Barons Keep is a nice apartment block.  Designed by Gunton & Gunton the property is five storeys in height and was designed to allow each of the 118 dual aspect flats a view of the open space to the West (presently occupied by West London College, see my earlier post for an image back then).

Barons Keep Layout

Here the layout, it has been built in a horseshoe shape around a central landscaped courtyard.

Barons Keep Art Deco Details

Photo by Maggie Jones

It has some excellent 1930s Art Deco features like the metal casement windows, in particular the fountain shaped staircase windows that run the whole height of the building, and swung balconies.  It is for those reasons Barons Keep has been listed by the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham as a building of merit.

Elevation Study from Courtyard

Barons Keep is managed by its residents and they have some cool ideas.  I particular like their proposed new 6th Floor made entirely of glas, it will look stunning!  Here an elevation study as seen from the courtyard.

One thing however I have not found out in my ten years here in Barons Court is the question of what is it with the missing apostrophe for Barons This and That.  Anybody knows?

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Barons Court Station East

The Station from the East

Here a brief history of the Conservation Area (from the Conservation Area Character Profile here):

The name of Barons Court is believed to have been devised by Sir William Palliser, who owned and developed the land, formerly part of a large agricultural holding. Use of the name to attract potential house buyers may have been suggested by nearby Earls Court or possibly in allusion to the Court Baron held by the Lord of the Manor, the Bishop of London. The 1865 Ordnance Survey Plan shows that most of the Barons Court Conservation Area was in agricultural use, although the main arterial thoroughfares of North End Lane (upgraded and renamed Talgsth Road), North End Road and Old Greyhound Road (renamed Greyhound Road), existed at this time.

By the time of the publication of the 1894/5 Ordnance Survey Plan much of the residential road framework was in place with the majority of the residential development having already occurred. Significant developments which had taken place since the earlier Survey are the construction of the over-ground District Railway and Barons Court and WestKensington Stations, and the laying out of Hammersmith Cemetery, then known as Margravine Cemetery.

The 1916 Survey shows very little change to the road layout, although a second phase of residential development had taken place. For example, to the west of the conservation area, Margravine Gardens had been extended to give access to St Dunstan’s Road facilitating further residential development creating an enclosed residential street block. Furthermore, at this time the remainder of the properties on Claxton Grove and Beaumont Crescent had been completed and the two mansion blocks on Palliser Road were built.  In the 1920s & 30s the green space between Barton Road and Barons Court Road was replaced by residential accommodation, including Barton Court.

and from the South

and from the South

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I was very pleased to find that I found an entry on our houses at the Royal Institute of British Architects (short RIBA and very much worth a visit!).

One of the drawings

One of the drawings

Giles Walkley’s entry was shown in the Architects’ Journal 6 December 1978.  It came in 4 sheets in pen and ink in the colours black and red; one each of the front, back, side and from top.  It got a special price and the Judges commented: “A good choice of buildings, well laid out and nicely drawn.  Interesting use of colour as line rather wash or tone, giving a feel of the texture and appearance of the building.  The competitor notes that it took him 600 hours to measure and draw.  The plottings are very good, but not such a good set of photographs.”

Intrigued I wanted the drawings(I was not so much interested in the photographs since I guess that is much easier to be done today).  But who would/could spend 600 hours on a set of drawings?  And how to get them?  Doing an extensive Google search I had an address of a Giles Walkley in Australia.  Not knowing if it was the right one I decided to write to it.  I got a reply more than a year later – the letter had gone to his parents’s address and his father gave it to his sister who put it in a her handbag (probably one of many) and did not think about it for 12 months.  Needless to mention that my surprise was big when Giles’ letter came in the form of a tube with colour copies of the plottings!  They are now hanging in the house are are indeed very good!  Thank you again, Giles!

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Frederick Wheeler (FRIBA) designed St Paul’s Studios on Talgarth Road, London, W14 in 1890 which were part of a movement to create domestic studios towards the end of the 19th century. The huge cheval-glass studio windows with glazed vaults excite interest. He had trained with Charles Driver, and in his early years had established a reputation as an able designer of middle class suburban housing. He worked on projects in Streatham in the 1880s,where he is known to have built at least one artist studio, and his houses there were clearly inspired by the Queen Anne revival, at a time when Streatham had pretensions to being another Bedford Park. He was still active in Streatham at the time of the construction of St. Paul’s Studios, but later settled in Horsham in Sussex and specialised in small country houses and banks.  Other famous buildings of his are the Carfax in Horsham and the Rustington Convalescent Home in Littlehampton.  Wheeler lived from 1853 until 1931.

Rustington Convalescent Home

Rustington Convalescent Home

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St. Paul’s Studios were built in 1891. They were constructed in an unusual though pleasing design, the most distinctive characteristic being the tall, round-headed north-light windows giving a steady source of light to the artist’s studios which occupied the whole first floor. These windows declared the function of the houses, as well playing a part in the lively picturesque front elevation.

Buying off plan

The first sales particulars for the house, here of plan in 1890 (note that the railing and other details changed)

The design of the terrace is in fact symmetrical, three studios either side of a slightly raised central pair. They are built in brick with buff terracotta dressings, the character and detail of this elevation being drawn from the 16th century – note particularly the finials, strapwork decoration along the eaves, and the mullions and transoms of the ground floor windows. The terrace was described as being specially designed to suit the requirement of bachelor artists. Under the first floor studio were arranged a sitting room and a bedroom, and on the basement floor below, accommodation was provided for a housekeeper.

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