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Wood Field

A Grade II Listed Building in Gospel Oak, Camden

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Latitude: 51.5512 / 51°33'4"N

Longitude: -0.1595 / 0°9'34"W

OS Eastings: 527707

OS Northings: 185198

OS Grid: TQ277851

Mapcode National: GBR DV.SKR

Mapcode Global: VHGQS.681P

Plus Code: 9C3XHR2R+F6

Entry Name: Wood Field

Listing Date: 22 December 2000

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1246726

English Heritage Legacy ID: 486926

Location: Gospel Oak, Camden, London, NW3

County: Camden

Electoral Ward/Division: Gospel Oak

Built-Up Area: Camden

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Saviour South Hampstead

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text

798-1/40/10165 (West side)
22-DEC-00 Wood Field


Block of 46 flats and maisonettes. 1947-9 by Donald Hanks McMorran of Farquharson and McMorran for Hampstead MB. Brown Leicestershire brick, with concrete floors, tiled and asphalted roofs; brick stacks. The block is arranged as a tripartite terrace of three and four storeys over basements on sloping sites, the three four-storey blocks with white rendered gable ends. The maisonettes are on the upper floors, and small flats and bedsits intended for the elderly are placed at the end of the blocks. Save in these small flats, all the living rooms and kitchens face west, the latter set behind a balcony; all the bedrooms face east, set over basement stores and covered arcaded play area. Seven staircases and five lifts ensure that no galleries are required.

Harmonious composition in McMorran's distinctive neo-classical style. The five main staircases, with lifts, entered via door set in stone architrave surround under flat hood with square entablature and supported on curved console brackets. Large staircase windows over. Balconies set within the line of the block, supported on openwork steel girders and with steel balustrades. All windows are timber sashes with small regular panes, those to the living rooms with margin lights, supported on steel chains. The windows on the fourth floor have keystones. The smaller flats have their own entrances and staircases in the end returns. East elevation set over arcaded play area, with projecting balconies to the living rooms of the upper small flats at ends, and to the bedrooms in the centre of each third floor penthouse section. [Barn Field: plaque carved by Sidney Pool, commemorates the opening of the flats on St George's Day, 23 April 1949, by the Hon John Fremantle, Chairman of the Housing Committee of Hampstead Borough Council. The scheme, conceived in 1943 as Hampstead's contribution to the housing shortage wrought by the War, was seen 'as a potent symbol of regeneration and hope'.

Interiors. Staircases with steel balustrading. Many living rooms retain their original corner tiled fireplaces. Built in cupboards and heated airing cupboards were a feature of the development from the first.

Hampstead MB built Barn Field and Wood Field to replace houses destroyed by the first bomb to land on the borough, on 9 September 1940. The Borough Council determined that the new housing should have a traditional character to reflect the eighteenth century architecture for which Hampstead is noted. The dwellings were exceptionally well equipped for their date, with lifts as well as staircases - exceptional for a four-storey block - and good internal fittings. The result is one of McMorran's first and perhaps most lavish blocks of flats, in which his combination of Soanic and Scandinavian devices, producing a lean, spare but exceptionally well-proportioned classicism is seen at its best. The names Barn Field and Wood Field were taken from the old field names on the site. The scheme was exhibited at the Royal Academy Exhibition of May 1946, with perspectives showing it much as built. It was awarded the RIBA's London Architecture Medal for the best building of 1948.

The Builder, 17 May 1946, p.480
The Builder, 28 March 1947, pp.294-6
Official opening brochure, 23 April 1949
Architect and Building News, 18 November 1949, pp.500-3
The Builder 21 October 1949, pp.511-14

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

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