DescriptionAlso known as “Page St.” Lutyens’s only working-class housing estate is distinguished by the elaborate chequer board pattern he applied boldly to a whole street of housing to enliven the uniform facades. He also wholeheartedly adopted reinforced concrete for the long balconies of the internal courtyards. The entries and small shop pavilions are built in Lutyens’s more conventional classical style. (Amery et al, 1981, Cat no.194)
A long straight e–w street of entirely c20 buildings. The highlight is the Grosvenor Estate, unusually interesting housing of 1929–35 by – of all people – Lutyens. It was built jointly with Westminster City Council, replacing poor housing designated for clearance after the Thames flooded it in 1928. 616 flats were provided, in seven blocks of five or six storeys, set parallel and end-on.* They are of U-plan with plain long bands of balconies around large internal courtyards. On the outer faces Lutyens relieved the visual austerity by simply linking the sashes diagonally by white rendered oblongs, making a pretty chequerboard pattern against the silver-grey brick. This, it might be thought, is Lutyens at his most modern – and yet the blocks have classical doorcases, and are punctuated by neat little stone-dressed lock-up shops, pyramid-roofed or rusticated, and classical gatepiers. The two smallest blocks, completed in 1930, lie to the son Vincent Street. They face a garden, made after parts of the two largest blocks were demolished c. 1970. Lutyens is said to have snatched the estate from under the noses of Ashley & Newman, who did the much more conventional Schomberg House, 1926-7, between Page Street and Vincent Street immediately to the w.
* Yet more blocks were intended at one point, stretching e to the river (The Builder 138, 1930, p.572).
(Bradley & Pevsner, 2003, p.711)
BibliographyAmery, C., Richardson, M. and Stamp, G., (1981) Lutyens, the Work of the English Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944): Hayward Gallery London, 18 November 1981 – 31 January 1982. London: Arts Council of Great Britain.
Bradley S & Pevsner N (2003) LONDON 6: WESTMINSTER. The Buildings of England. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Also Cited InGradidge, R. (1982) Edwin Lutyens: Architect Laureate. London: Allen & Unwin.
Butler, A., 1950. The architecture of Sir Edwin Lutyens: the Lutyens memorial series. Vol III: Town and Public Buildings: Memorials: The Metropolitan Cathedral, Liverpool, Country Life: London and Scibners: New York.
Listing GradeII,II, II, II,
Listing Reference1065921 1357449 1065903 1357339 1238338 1238363
ClientWestminster City Council