AJ Buildings Library: Alexander Fleming House (1960)
Each week a selection of exemplar projects from the twentieth century is added to the AJ Buildings Library
The construction of Alexander Fleming House formed part of the post war regeneration and development plans for Elephant and Castle that also saw the construction of a cinema by the same architect, the London College of Printing and Bossenvain & Osmond’s three storey shopping centre.
The Erno Goldfinger scheme, which occupies one of several sites round the Elephant and Castle traffic centre, is one of 24 architectural highlights from the Borough of Southwark featured in the Library.
Originally built by a private developer for the Ministry of Health, the project, which received the Civic Trust Award in 1964, consists of three office blocks connected by glazed bridges that are known collectively as Alexander Fleming House.
Block A, fronting Newington Causeway consists of a basement level, a ground floor containing shops and banks, and a first floor library topped with six stories of office space. Block B is staggered behind with its western façade facing over a garden on to Newington Causeway. This seventeen storey tower, which rises contains offices provides the main access to all three. Block C is staggered behind Block B and also overlooks the piazza.
Construction is a reinforced concrete frame with structural members clearly expressed and treated either in bush-hammered concrete of left raw from the shuttering.
Elephant and Castle is currently the focus of a new wave of redevlopment that has seen BFLS’ 148 metre tall Strata tower rise, and will see both the shopping centre and Heygate estate demolished as part of a £1.5 billion masterplan.
- To submit your firm’s best projects to the Library please contact AJ Buildings Library editor Tom Ravenscroft.
The AJ Buildings Library is now included as part of the Architects’ Journal subscription.