Mottram Street Flats – Stockport

A post-war northern town, facing the problems of bomb damage, poor quality housing, and the pressing need for new homes.

In 1963 there seemed to be space and the will to build, the site at the centre of the image flanked by ageing Victorian terraces and industry.

5060

1960a

Soon to become the Mottram Street Development.

31117

5061

Back in 1965 these were the highest housing tower blocks in Greater Manchester.

The work of borough architects John Rank and Clifford Fernley.

1348

123

1351

1352

1353

34249

47177

1960’s Photographs from the Stockport Image Archive

Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 14.01.33

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 14.02.34

1980’s photographs from The Tower Block

Typically they incorporated concrete street furniture, sculptural and decorative detail, in keeping with the age.

Like many other developments of the period they have subsequently been clad, fenced, painted and secured beyond recognition.

There was a raised concrete play area, of which nothing has survived.

A little of their original character however has prevailed – a William Mitchellesque fallen obelisk, along with some panelling and planters.

Curious to see public art behind bars

– would that they were removed.

DSC_0038 copy

a new relief copy

 

DSC_0032 copy

DSC_0033 copy

DSC_0037 copy

 

DSC_0039 copy

DSC_0046 copy

DSC_0047 copy

DSC_0048 copy

DSC_0049 copy

DSC_0050 copy

DSC_0051 copy

DSC_0030 copy

 

 

Tudor House – Wakefield

You wouldn’t ever want a bad case of the cladding, the triumph of the expedient over the purist aesthetic. We all may wish to be warm, dry and free from unwanted ingress, whilst exercising a degree of discernment and restraint, regarding the manner in which we are clad.

In Wakefield and in local authorities throughout this fair land there seems to have been a distinct lack of discernment and restraint, regarding the manner in which modern tower blocks are clad.

Cloaking concrete in coloured surfaces better suited to Toytown than our town.

Four twelve-storey H-plan tower blocks built as public housing as part of the central area development of lower Kirkgate. The blocks rise out of other low-rise development. Each block contains 44 one and two-bedroom flats, providing 176 dwellings in total. The consulting architects for the development were Richard Seifert & Partners. Construction is of concrete frame with brick infill panels. The blocks were approved by committee in 1964.

Tudor House aka Lower Kirkgate Comprehensive Development area as was:

13669171_10154435787311600_6732873241408697456_n

13873008_10154435787336600_5185297045755258748_n

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 13.37.59

Photographs Tower Block

Ain’t it funny how time and integrity slips away?

wakefield_flats2l

wakefield_flats3l

Photographs Alan White Design

Gone the bold flat roofed, cuboid contrasting concrete and brick towers, whilst confusingly the ground floor retail development remains untouched.

P1180757

P1180759

P1180760

P1180761

P1180762

P1180763

P1180765

P1180766

P1180767

P1180768

P1180769

P1180770

Margate – Arlington House

I’ll try anything twice.

So off I went to Margate, on a train, again.

Rushing out of the station agog, eager, looking for a long lost friend.

An impudent exclamation mark at the end of a rowdy Georgian row.

Arlington House.

A mad amalgam of angles, incautious concrete surfaces and glass.

Entranced, enchanted, we both stare out to sea and eye each other admiringly.

DSC_0015 copy

DSC_0409 copy

DSC_0012 copy

DSC_0422 copy

DSC_0419 copy

DSC_0421 copy

DSC_0458 copy

DSC_0416 copy

DSC_0460 copy

DSC_0413 copy

DSC_0018 copy

DSC_0456 copy

DSC_0425 copy

DSC_0463 copy

DSC_0459 copy

DSC_0457 copy

DSC_0424 copy

DSC_0522 copy

Hove – Seafront Flats

The seashore seems ideally suited to tall well appointed private housing, this is the architecture and landscape of wealth and privilege.

Built and maintained in the finest sixties and seventies Modernist style and fashion, affording panoramic visits across the Hove Lawns to the sea, and the soft rolling hinterland of the Downs.

If you’ve got the dollar, you’ve got a room with a view, or two.

Brighton – Embassy Court

Embassy Court has always had a very special place in my heart.

Forty years ago as a young art student attending nearby Portsmouth Polytechnic, we were taken by Maurice Denis in a minibus to visit the modernist buildings in our locale, this was my first love.

Two days ago I returned to Brighton, sprinting spryly along the prom to meet an old friend.

We were ever so pleased to see each other after all these years, I walked around admiringly and smiled.

“Embassy Court is an 11 storey block of flats situated on the Brighton seafront on the corner of Western Street and the Kings Road. It was designed by the architect Wells Coates and completed in 1935.

It is amongst of the most outstanding examples of pre-war Modernism in the UK, it has a grade II* listed status and remains a major Brighton landmark. This beautiful, elegantly proportioned block contains 72 flats, with awe-inspiring sea views, is considered one of the coolest places to live in Britain.

Restored in 2005 after a long period of decline, Embassy Court is now owned by a limited company, Bluestorm Ltd., born from a Leaseholders Association which obtained the freehold of the  building in 1998.”

http://www.c20society.org.uk/botm/embassy-court-brighton/

Huddersfield – Buxton House

Slap dab in the middle of the town stands a lone tower block of residential, social housing.

Buxton House backs onto the lower rise Civic Centre and is conjoined to the main shopping street and precinct, linked by a low wide underpass. Adorned on its street entrance by the most enchanting mosaic, announcing a spry geometric optimism to those shoppers and residents that pass under, through the underpass.

Ten floors of homes are bound in brick concrete and glass – a truly commanding central location, graced by the inclusion of an incongruous Chinese restaurant – The Mandarin.

Take a stroll around.

DSC_0264 copy

DSC_0258 copy

DSC_0255 copy

DSC_0254 copy

DSC_0253 copy

DSC_0251 copy

DSC_0249 copy

DSC_0248 copy

DSC_0247 copy

DSC_0244 copy

DSC_0243 copy

DSC_0240 copy

DSC_0238 copy

DSC_0235 copy

DSC_0234 copy

Huddersfield – Lonsbrough and Ibbotson Flats

The former Richmond flats in Huddersfield have been revamped and are now known as Harold Wilson Court.

The two other blocks sadly have neither been revamped nor renamed after famed local politicos.

Herbert Asquith or Luddite House – take your pick.

They stand by the road unloved and forlorn, tinned up awaiting demolition. Once home to hundreds, the former residents have now been paid out, moved out and hopefully rehoused.

Richmond flats were named after Sidney Richmond, the former Huddersfield Borough Council architect, and were the second of the three blocks currently on the site. The first block opposite was Lonsbrough Flats, named after Anita Lonsbrough, 1960 Olympic Gold medal swimmer and council employee, with the third being the middle block Ibbotson Flats, named after Derek Ibbotson, the Huddersfield athlete who held the world record for running a mile.

The site was obviously more valuable than viable town centre homes – Tesco is a coming

Hurrah.

Go see them, say hello and wave goodbye – they’ll soon be gone.

http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/town-centre-tower-blocks-pulled-4927231