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Polytechnic Stadium

A Grade II Listed Building in Chiswick Riverside, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4765 / 51°28'35"N

Longitude: -0.2675 / 0°16'3"W

OS Eastings: 520413

OS Northings: 176701

OS Grid: TQ204767

Mapcode National: GBR 8T.P78

Mapcode Global: VHGR3.94XZ

Entry Name: Polytechnic Stadium

Listing Date: 28 February 2003

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1096141

English Heritage Legacy ID: 490107

Location: Hounslow, London, W4

County: London

District: Hounslow

Electoral Ward/Division: Chiswick Riverside

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Paul Chiswick Grove Park

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text


787/0/10149 HARTINGTON ROAD
28-FEB-03 Chiswick
Polytechnic Stadium

II

Polytechnic Stadium Grandstand and pavilion, 1936-7, by Joseph Addison, architect.

MATERIALS: reinforced concrete with in-situ and pre-cast elements in evidence. The frame is infilled with thin concrete walls. The concrete is painted white, except the stepped seating. Here the concrete is left unfinished, and topped with wooden seats.

STRUCTURE: The whole structure is 78 ft long by 79 ft deep, of which both rear building and the seating are load-bearing elements. The cantilevered roof is primarily supported by a main beam 78 ft long by 7 ft deep, which itself rests on two octagonal pillars 16 ins wide, 54 ft apart. There is a clear projection of 30ft beyond this point to the front of the stand. The length of the roof is divided into 7 bays, with beams running the depth of each floor from which the roof covering is suspended.

PLAN: The roof and footprint are rectangular in plan, with stair towers projecting at the rear. The stand's seating is arranged between in two tiers, accessed from the front of the stand at ground level, and via the stair towers at first, second and third floor levels. Rooms occupy the space remaining behind the seating at each level. The ground floor houses entrances at either end, with extensive changing rooms and showers in between. The entire first floor is taken up with the clubroom, formerly the restaurant. Kitchen and toilet facilities are on the second floor. At third floor level, the stand reaches the back of the building. Two wooden framed glazed announcers' boxes were added at the back of the seating soon after building.

EXTERIOR: the south-east (front) facade is dominated by the tiered seating, divided by clubroom windows, and projecting canopy roof. The building originally had metal rails on the front wall of the upper tier of seating, and at the foot of the lower tier. These rails have subsequently been replaced, and more added. north-east and south-west facades are almost identical, comprising the sides of the stand, expressing the profile of the cantilevered roof and tiers of seating. The facade is punctuated symmetrically by windows, some altered. The main entrances at each end have elegant projecting surrounds. The north-west (rear) facade features bands of horizontal glazing, with smaller paired corner windows on the stair towers, both sandwiched between raised courses. The window bands increase in depth as they descend from third floor to first floor. There have been some alterations to windows: original small-paned metal windows have been filled in on the third floor, and have been replaced with larger-paned metal windows on the first floor, (as they have on the front elevation), and ground floor windows have also been altered. However, sufficient remains to preserve the effect of the glazing design.

INTERIOR: Interior finishes are deliberately simple, with painted concrete walls, and concrete floors. The Polytechnic Magazine noted, 'The internal finish and decoration has been planned in keeping with the purpose of the building, durability having been the aim throughout.' On the ground floor original wooden changing cubicles and benches are a rare survival, although the original plunge bath and showers have been lost. The first floor club room is the principal space. The seven bays are punctuated by prominent downstand beams and columns. It has a terrazzo tiled floor.

HISTORY: the stadium is the principal element in the substantial Quintin Hogg Memorial Grounds (now known as University of Westminster Sports Grounds), purchased to commemorate the Polytechnic's founder in the early twentieth century. It was designed by Joseph Addison MC, FRIBA, MIStructE, AMTPI [1895 - 1969], Head of Architecture at the Regent Street Polytechnic (also known as The Polytechnic). He was primarily a teacher, progressing to the Inspectorate at the Ministry of Education, and this is one of only a few built projects. This is a Modern building in structure, materials and architectural style. The stadium was home to the 'Polytechnic Harriers' athletics club, along with local clubs and schools. It was also used for international and national competitions as soon as it was built, including the Amateur Athletic Association championships and preparatory sessions for the 1948 London Olympics. The stadium was built at the height of the cult of athletics in Britain, and is an impressive surviving example of this type of sports building.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES: One of a pair of original toilet blocks remains on the north-east side of the building. Two concrete signposts, apparently coeval with the stadium, mark the two entrances to the site.


Sources:
Photographs and ephemera at the University of Westminster Archives.
Parks, Golf Courses and Sports Grounds, July 1938.
The Polytechnic Magazine, July 1938, pp.119 - 120.

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

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