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The Platanes (Now King's College Hall)

A Grade II Listed Building in Southwark, London

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Latitude: 51.4642 / 51°27'51"N

Longitude: -0.0882 / 0°5'17"W

OS Eastings: 532900

OS Northings: 175644

OS Grid: TQ329756

Mapcode National: GBR SY.B9

Mapcode Global: VHGR6.FG7F

Plus Code: 9C3XFW76+MP

Entry Name: The Platanes (Now King's College Hall)

Listing Date: 26 October 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393499

English Heritage Legacy ID: 507126

Location: Champion Hill, Southwark, London, SE5

County: London

District: Southwark

Electoral Ward/Division: South Camberwell

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Southwark

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: North Dulwich St Faith

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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636-1/0/10135 CHAMPION HILL
26-OCT-09 The Platanes (now King's College Hall)

House, now part of student halls of residence. Built 1882 for for George Egmont Bieber, a City merchant, architect unknown. Wings added to N and S 1923-25 (these additions are not of special interest).

MATERIALS: Buff brick with stone dressings.

PLAN: Comprises a large entrance hall on E side with large open well stair to rear, around which is a former morning room to S; a long ballroom, a large and a small drawing room to W, and a dining room to the N. On W side of drawing rooms, linked through double doors, is a large single-storey conservatory (the Winter Garden). Secondary stair to N of entrance hall. Upper-floor rooms accessed from central gallery around stair well.

EXTERIOR: Three storeys above basement. Asymmetrical front elevation has a recessed central portion with a Corinthian porch, flanked by unequal bays to either side; the S bay has shallow tripartite pilastered bay windows to ground and first floors; the broader N bay has 2-storey canted bay windows, also pilastered. Dentilled eaves cornice. One-over-one timber timber sash windows.

Rear elevation of three bays plus projecting wing with two-storey canted bay window to S. Winter Garden elevation has tall glazed bays divided by Corinthian columns (glazing is modern); dentilled cornice; parapet with openwork roundels. Tripartite central window to first floor; windows are otherwise paired.

INTERIOR: Ground-floor rooms are remarkably unaltered, retaining original late- C19 decorative schemes in eclectic styles, complete with chimneypieces, joinery and parquet floors with decorative inlay.

Entrance hall has glazed timber entrance lobby. To rear is a large oak open stair around square well, with turned balusters, panelled strings and soffits. Panelled mahogany doors with high moulded cornices. Ceiling has enriched bracketed cornice and square ribbed plasterwork. Former dining room has a timber neo-Jacobean chimneypiece with matching dado panelling; ceiling with timber cornice and strapwork in geometric pattern. Former morning room has been subdivided by the insertion of a partition to form a corridor through to the later south wing, but retains cornice and neo-Jacobean strapwork ceiling. Former ballroom, now library, has elaborate plaster ceiling in classical style with modillion cornice, enriched panels and roundels, some depicting musical instruments; carved timber chimneypiece. Large and small drawing rooms also with ornate ceilings; each of these rooms has carved timber chimneypiece with marble bolection mouldings, tiled slips and hearths. Glazed doors lead to Winter Garden, which has long elliptical tripartite glazed ceiling lantern, egg-and-dart cornice, and coloured tile floor set in geometric pattern with mosaic rinceaux border.

First-floor landing is arcaded on on N and W sides (arches now blocked). Enriched bracketed cornice. Second-floor landing arcaded on W side. Stairwell surmounted by coved painted glass lantern carried on deep enriched coved cornice. Upper-floor rooms not fully inspected, but some have cornices, fireplaces etc. Secondary stair has turned timber balusters and moulded handrail. Basement service rooms retain floor and wall tiling and some joinery including fitted cupboards.

The stables and coach house to the N of The Platanes are not of special interest.

HISTORY: The Platanes (the name derives from the German name for plane tree), was built in 1882 for George Egmont Bieber, a City merchant and member of the German community that had grown in the Champion Hill area of Camberwell, part of the Dulwich Estate, a fashionable London suburb. The house was purchased in 1890 by the banker Herman Kleinwort of the German banking family. Soon after however, the social status of Champion Hill and its environs declined as the open fields were developed with smaller houses for lower-middle-class migrants to the suburbs. The Kleinwort family moved to Belgravia in 1908; after failing to find a buyer for the Platanes, and having been refused permission by the Dulwich Estate governors to change its use into a hotel or nursing home, Kleinwort donated the property to King's College Hospital in 1910. It became a student hall of residence for the hospital's medical school in 1913 and from 1923 for King's College. Wings were added on the N and S sides 1923-25. After World War II the grounds of the Platanes were amalgamated with those of another large house to the south, Danehurst, which also became a hall of residence; the latter was demolished in the 1970s.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The Platanes is designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Special architectural interest: principally for the extent and completeness of the late-C19 interior decorative schemes, and wealth of fixtures and fittings
* Rarity: as a large upper-middle class suburban mansion with virtually intact interior

Reasons for Listing

The Platanes has been designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Special architectural interest: principally for the extent and completeness of the late-C19 interior decorative schemes, and wealth of fixtures and fittings
* Rarity: as a large upper-middle class suburban mansion with virtually intact interior

External Links

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