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Former Wormholt Library and Infant Welfare Centre

A Grade II Listed Building in Wormholt and White City, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5138 / 51°30'49"N

Longitude: -0.2426 / 0°14'33"W

OS Eastings: 522048

OS Northings: 180890

OS Grid: TQ220808

Mapcode National: GBR 9L.9J4

Mapcode Global: VHGQX.R64W

Entry Name: Former Wormholt Library and Infant Welfare Centre

Listing Date: 6 March 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393177

English Heritage Legacy ID: 505377

Location: Hammersmith and Fulham, London, W12

County: London

District: Hammersmith and Fulham

Electoral Ward/Division: Wormholt and White City

Built-Up Area: Hammersmith and Fulham

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Katherine Westway

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text


333/0/10105 HEMLOCK ROAD
06-MAR-09 60
Former Wormholt Library and Infant Wel
fare Centre

II
Former public (branch) library and Infant Welfare Centre. 1930 by R Hampton Clucas, Engineer and Surveyor for the Borough of Hammersmith.

MATERIALS: Red brick, with red gauged brick and stone dressings, stock brick, copper clad cupola, flat roofs behind brick parapets.

PLAN: A single storey building on a rectangular footprint with the library to the north and the Welfare Clinic to the south. The library is laid out round a central atrium, with the former Lending Library to the east, Reading Room to the west and Reference Room to the south. To the west of the Reference Room was a filing room, to the east a staff room overlooking an inner courtyard. The large east and west library rooms have large bays facing east and west. The main entrance is under a portico or vestibule on the north elevation, a staff entrance on the east elevation. The Infant Welfare Centre has entrances on the east and west elevations leading to a central corridor. There is a public waiting room to the east and former doctors' and nurses' rooms at the west side. The central room was a weighing room, with a dispensary opposite. In the basement and reached by external steps was a healing chamber.

EXTERIOR: Red brick in Flemish bond with red brick parapets with moulded brick cornices, vertical panels and pilasters at the angles. Mouldings are of gauged brick. Window openings are of quarter-moulded brick. The entrance front is symmetrical with the entrance set back under a stone portico of paired Tuscan columns in antis on shallow stone bases on a stone flag floor, set between the wings of the library rooms. The entablature is inscribed PUBLIC LIBRARY. The parapet above is in stepped square cut blocks, the centrepiece carved with the Borough arms. A pair of part-glazed oak doors are set in a reeded architrave flanked by eight-pane fixed lights above stone commemorative plaques. Windows throughout are small -paned horned sashes, on the north elevation arranged as tripartite windows with 6-over-6 paned sashes flanking a central 9-over-9 pane sash. East and west elevations each have a large semicircular bay with curved 6-over-6 and 12-over-12 pane sashes between piers with horizontal tile caps and bases and with raised panels below. A copper clad cupola with small paned oculi and a copper finial sits over the central hall. It is set behind a parapet of solid masonry with brickwork set diagonally on the cardinal faces, brick piers at the corners and stone balustrades between. Urn finials which were formerly set on the angles of both parapets are said to be in store.

The Infant Welfare Centre attached to the south is a lower flat-roofed building with a simplified brick parapet which has tall inscribed brick panels over the entrances. Windows are set in plain brick openings under brick arches with stone or concrete cills and are small paned timber sashes and casements. The east entrance has a flat-roofed brick porch with moulded cornices to the flanks and a tiled architrave with stone rondels at the angles enclosing a narrow moulded stone or concrete frame. Above the entrance a stone panel is inscribed Infant Welfare Centre. The door is replaced. The west entrance has a timber canopy on moulded brackets and a part glazed door under a plain fanlight and is flanked by piers of alternating horizontal tile and brickwork. A similar entrance on the east elevation has a fanlight with glazing bars and leads to the library staff rooms. The inner courtyard is of stock brick.

INTERIOR: The library. The central hall is lined with pilasters with egg and dart mouldings supporting a deep moulded cornice above which is a clerestorey with alternating raised panels and rectangular windows with rectangular and diagonally set glazing bars. The pilasters between have vertical moulded husk decoration. Above is a lantern with a moulded frieze and panelled linings. It is glazed in small rectangular clear panes, with bands of patterned coloured glass. Architraves have wide shallow square cut mouldings typical of the period. Doors, overlights and internal partitions are of oak with glazed panels, some now with mirror glass. Skirtings and plinths are of polished buff stone. The floor, which extends into the lobby, is of cream marble or polished stone with a black perimeter and inner circle enclosing a star. The Lending Room (east) has a flat circular roof light with a moulded, bay leaf frieze and glazing bars, a shallow cornice, picture rail and skirtings, and plain door architraves. The former Reading Room (west) is said to be similar. The former Reference Room is plainly detailed.

Infant Welfare Centre. Doctors' and nurses' rooms flanking the entrance to the west have moulded dado rails, coved cornices, and splayed skirtings to woodblock floors. The nurses' room has fitted panelled cupboards. Rooms are separated by part glazed small paned doors and internal windows.

ANCILLARY FEATURES: The building is enclosed by iron railings and gates of which some on the east side are original. It is framed on the north by gates between brick piers with moulded caps and ball finials. Plain brick gatepiers with tile banding lead to the Welfare Centre.

HISTORY: It was designed by Borough Engineer and Surveyor R Hampton Clucas to serve the Old Oak and Wormholt districts and opened on July 16 1930. It overlooks Western Avenue (A40) at the edge of the LCC and Hammersmith Council Wormholt estate, which was laid out between 1919 and 1926. The estate follows garden city principles of low density housing laid out round greens: houses are of brick with tile roofs and small-paned timber windows. Hampton Clucas also designed the White City Lido in 1923, now demolished.

Historically libraries were commonly associated with other civic buildings set on the high street such as public baths or town halls. During the inter-war period libraries were built increasingly as part of a civic complex. Wormholt Library, as a branch library, represents a new approach, taking public services to the newly built suburbs. Sometimes these were built alongside a health centre. This building was the only community building on the estate and the inclusion of a purpose-built Infant Welfare Centre was an innovative move.

In the early C20, in response to high infant mortality rates, local authorities set up Milk Depots and other incentives to reduce the rate of infant death. The first Infant Welfare Centre in Hammersmith opened in 1911 followed by others over the next ten years, providing Ante-Natal and Toddler Clinics. Wormholt replaced the clinic on the Old Oak estate which was deemed unsuitable.

SOURCES: Metropolitan Borough of Hammersmith Brochure marking the opening of Wormholt Branch Library and Infant Welfare Centre, Wednesday July 16th 1930
Wormholt & Old Oak Conservation Area Design Guidelines, LB Hammersmith & Fulham (1996)

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The former Wormholt Library and Infant Welfare Centre is designated for the following principal reasons:

* It is built to a high architectural standard;
* The radial plan of the library reflects new trends in open-shelved layout;
* The Infant Welfare Centre was among the first purpose-built centres in the country;
* Wormholt Estate, inter-war public housing laid out on garden city principles, provides a strong context.

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

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