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A Grade II Listed Building in City of Westminster, London

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Latitude: 51.5121 / 51°30'43"N

Longitude: -0.1829 / 0°10'58"W

OS Eastings: 526188

OS Northings: 180808

OS Grid: TQ261808

Mapcode National: GBR 3D.33

Mapcode Global: VHGQY.S844

Entry Name: Corringham

Listing Date: 21 January 1998

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1031567

English Heritage Legacy ID: 469030

Location: Westminster, London, W2

County: London

District: City of Westminster

Electoral Ward/Division: Lancaster Gate

Built-Up Area: City of Westminster

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St James Paddington

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text


1900/64/10015 Corringham


Thirty two-bedroom and eighteen one-bedroom flats, usually termed maisonettes because of their split-level plan. Designed 1960-1, built 1962-4 by Douglas Stephen and Partners, job architect Kenneth Frampton, for the Hector Property Company. R J Crocker and Associates, engineers. In-situ reinforced concrete box frame with some board marking, now mostly painted, just as the roughcast end walls were always intended to be. Flat roof. Eight storeys, with six flats per floor, over basement carpark and stores. One of the most interesting features of this block is its scissors' plan, derived from LCC research by David Gregory-Jones, Colin Jones, Ian Hampson and Margaret Dent (Mrs Stephen). The majority of the maisonettes have four half levels, with bathrooms placed under or over central access spine, from which stairs lead up and down to living rooms and kitchens (all facing west) and bedrooms (all facing east). All the flats thus enjoy a maximum of through light and ventilation within a compact plan. Alternate maisonettes in the upper five floors are thus reached from different levels, whilst those in the lower three floors are more repetitively laid out and have just a single bedroom. All have east-facing balconies inset within the line of the block.
On the exterior this complexity is only hinted at by the split-level escape stair on the southern elevation. Regular six-bay facade, with continuous bands of windows, these being of painted aluminium with some pivoted casement openings in timber subframe. Underwindow panels of metal-backed mirror glass, some renewed. Entrance at left down long ramp, given separate articulation, along with lift, stair, heating flue and waste disposal units set in a tower which is highly modelled to contrast with the simple pattern of the main block. Garden elevation enlivened by inset balconies, each with side panel given a marbled finish, and by the projection of the upper five floors.
Interior. Entrance hall with original tilework to walls. Dog-leg stair with continuous welded steel balustrade. Maisonettes not inspected, but noted to have originally contained fitted cupboards and wardrobes. Because the kitchen was placed in a galley to the rear of the living area, the block was given a sophisticated extract system.
Corringham was one of the most elaborately planned private blocks of its day, and is perhaps unique in employing the scissors section. The idea seems first to has been worked upon by the LCC in about 1955-6 by a team in the Housing Branch of its Architect's Department working under David Gregory-Jones and first tried out in the LCC's Tidey Street scheme, Poplar. It was used for some blocks in the Pepys Estate, Deptford, but was not widely adopted. It was published in the Architect's Journal for 28 February 1962, well after Corringham had been designed. The plan is sophisticated in offering an ideal east-west aspect to every unit, with a maximum of through light and ventilation, whilst reducing the number of corridors required. Corringham is thus a rare example of its adoption, and architecturally the most articulate. No other private flats were so ambitious in their planning.
Douglas Stephen and Partners were one of the most go-ahead young practices designing flats in London in the early 1960s, and attracted young architects of considerable talent. Corringham is the only substantial work of Kenneth Frampton (b. 1930), who settled in the United States in 1966 and who has since gained a considerable reputation as a scholar, critic and writer on modern architecture, but who has designed only one major housing scheme there. The work of Douglas Stephen and Partners is usually said to be indebted to Italian rationalism, a profound influence on Stephen himself and on Panos Kowlermos and Peter Stonebridge, designers of other important buildings produced by the firm in the early 1960s. Here, however, Frampton acknowledges a strong debt to Lyons Israel Ellis, and to James Stirling, especially in the massing of the service tower and entrance. He also admits the influcence of Atelier 5 in Switzerland and to the Neue Sachlichkeit architects in Germany. Frampton's involvement is particularly noteworthy in what is perhaps the firm's most coherent design of the period and certainly their most interesting.

Letter from Kenneth Frampton to Andrew Saint. 12 August 1991, English Heritage Historian's file WM660
Architectural Review January 1963, pp38-9
Architectural Design September 1964, pp.442-48
Douglas Stephen, Kenneth Frampton and Michael Caraptian Britiish Buildings1960-4 1965
Robert Maxwell, "Last of the Great Purists", RIBA Journal, November 1980,pp.38-9

Listing NGR: TQ2618880808

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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