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Latitude: 51.4457 / 51°26'44"N
Longitude: -0.2368 / 0°14'12"W
OS Eastings: 522626
OS Northings: 173331
OS Grid: TQ226733
Mapcode National: GBR 9Q.QZ1
Mapcode Global: VHGR3.VX4L
Plus Code: 9C3XCQW7+77
Entry Name: Hilsea Point
Listing Date: 22 December 1998
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1246033
English Heritage Legacy ID: 472025
Location: Roehampton and Putney Heath, Wandsworth, London, SW15
Electoral Ward/Division: Roehampton
Built-Up Area: Wandsworth
Traditional County: Surrey
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London
Church of England Parish: Roehampton Holy Trinity
Church of England Diocese: Southwark
TQ 22 73 WANDSWORTH, LB WANBOROUGH DRIVE
(north west side)
1207/11/10060 Hilsea Point
Point block of 42 flats. 1952-5 by London County Council Architect's Department Housing Division; Rosemary Stjernstedt Architect in Charge, A W Cleeve Barr and Oliver Cox principal job architects. Ove Arup and Partners engineers. In-situ reinforced concrete frame clad in grey 'clinker block' brickwork, with some expression of the concrete floors as bands in the composition. Flat roof with projecting service tower expressed as rounded sculptural form. Three flats on ground floor, four on each upper floor (one 1-bedroom and three 2-bedroom units) set in corners of picturesquely asymmetrical plan, with partially projecting balconies at corners. Lift lobby runs through centre of building, with pair of lifts serving alternate floors and two escape staircases, once brightly coloured. Ground floor partially set back and painted, with storerooms (initially also a laundry) which retain their original galvanised steel fenestration, as do the staircases. Windows to flats renewed in UPVC-coated aluminium within original openings and to similar pattern (some mullions eliminated). Balconies with original panelled fronts. Each block denoted by different patterned tilework at entrance formed of white and two varieties of black and white speckled tiles to give illusion of contrasting grey and near-black; the pattern at Hilsea Point has white cross-shapes set mostly in grey tiles with few near-black. Original sign made of tiles.
The point blocks at Alton East were the first public housing in Britain to have mechanically-ventilated lavatories and bathrooms, and the first high housing to be centrally heated. The interiors of the flats not of special interest except for their plan.
The LCC's earlier experiments with point block design had been too expensive, later variants were more mechanical; these are included as the best examples of their pioneering work in designing groups of tall flats. The name point block was coined by the Alton East team and is derived from the Swedish 'punkthus', a source of their inspiration. Another was the English housing tradition, which led to their use of brick, respect for earlier LCC work nearby and an interest in what prospective tenants wanted. Alton East is remarkable for its picturesque massing, which maximises its sloping site and the retention and enhancement of Victorian planting from the gardens to villas previously there, by grouping the points at the top of the rise (where they also shield traffic noise) and setting the contrasting red-brick houses and maisonettes round them. It epitomises the humanist tradition in post-war British architecture.
Listing NGR: TQ2262673331
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