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