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New River Head Research Building (Thames Water)

A Grade II Listed Building in Clerkenwell, Islington

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Latitude: 51.5291 / 51°31'44"N

Longitude: -0.1071 / 0°6'25"W

OS Eastings: 531399

OS Northings: 182826

OS Grid: TQ313828

Mapcode National: GBR N6.31

Mapcode Global: VHGQT.3T6P

Entry Name: New River Head Research Building (Thames Water)

Listing Date: 29 September 1972

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1195723

English Heritage Legacy ID: 369257

Location: Islington, London, EC1R

County: Islington

Electoral Ward/Division: Clerkenwell

Built-Up Area: Islington

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Clerkenwell St Mark

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text


635-1/68/734 (North West side)
29/09/72 New River Head: Research Building
(Thames Water)


Laboratory, research, and office building located in New River
Head site, with its main entrance in Arlington Way. 1936-38.
By Stanley Hall and Easton and Robertson, architects (John
Murray Easton, designer), Walter Lawrence and Son Ltd.,
builders and John Skeaping, stone carver for the Metropolitan
Water Board, patron. Steel frame faced with Himley bricks of
brownish-red colour set in stretcher bond (with vertically
laid bricks above 1st floor of front block) and Portland stone
dressings; hollow tile roof and floor construction, plate
glass windows and glass brick panels. Long curved plan to main
axis articulated in powerful horizontal expression; attached
entrance foyer and semi-circular glazed staircase projection
of strong vertical design forms front block on a right angle
(cross axis) and faces Arlington Way and Rosebery Avenue.
Modern Movement manner. Three storeys with full basement (to
main axis only); 21-window range to curve; double-fronted
entrance block of 5-window range to Arlington Way, and 5 giant
two-storey full-height glass-brick panels set in recess to
round-ended left-hand return wall. Front elevation: two-storey
full-height giant brick pilaster strips resting on stone
plinth with metal casement sashes set in recess to front and
glass brick panels set in recess to round-ended return;
flanking steps rise to recessed centre entrance; moulded stone
cornice above 1st floor; 2nd floor stepped back slightly and
with short sashes to main front, plain brick wall to rounded
left-hand return with Metropolitan Water Board's coat of arms
carved in stone relief to centre, brick parapet with string
courses and stone coping. Curved side (main axis) elevation:
stone basement; upper floors with metal casement sashes that
decrease in height as they go up, stone surrounds with fluted
jambs and bracketed sills to ground-floor recessed sashes, of
13-window range; 1st floor ribbon windows articulated by short
stone pilaster strips; stone cornice/sill band below 2nd-floor
sashes, stone string course above sashes; plain brick parapet
with stone coping. INTERIOR: : outstanding circular
cantilevered staircase with wrought-iron balusters, bronze
handrail; stair treads and hall floor of terrazzo, all lit by
full-height panels of glazed bricks and surmounted by a blue
ceiling over the stairwell upon which F P Morton incised a
figure of Aquarius surrounded by stars in plaster and gilt;
other period details include square lighting wall fittings
mounted on copper backs, and wood figurative relief sculpture
panels above some of the doorways.
The building was erected over the site of one of the filter
beds that had been installed in place of part of the Outer
Pond. Easton and Robertson seem to have specialised in
laboratories following their work for London Zoo in 1933-1934.
The building's north-south aspect was essential and set as it
is in the historic New River Head site it forms a significant
group with listed buildings. Additionally, the New River Head
Research Building is adjacent to the Sadler's Wells Theatre
(q.v.). The laboratory is a simple but powerful design in the
modern spirit of Charles Holden or Thomas Tail.
(Historians File, English Heritage, London Division: 1990-; ).

Listing NGR: TQ3139982826

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

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