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AJ Buildings Library: Hallfield Estate (1955)

Berthold Lubetkin’s Grade II listed housing scheme, in central London joins five other Tecton projects in the AJ Buildings Library

The Tecton-designed project, realised by Denys Lasdun and Lindsay Drake, was awarded grade II listed status last month. The estate is one of hundreds of 20th century projects featured in the Library including six Tecton-designed schemes.

Reza Schuster, a resident of the estate and director at MJP, described Hallfield as ‘a great place to live’.

‘It’s very much about the people here, but the skilful handling of the open spaces, the playful composition of the facades and the generous and flexible design of the flats are key to its success. I’m pleased it’s in the AJ Building Library, as Hallfield still holds lessons for today’s architects and urban designers.’

Inspired by Le Corbusier’s ‘Radiant City’ and hailed as a ‘seminal post-war housing estate’ by English Heritage, the Modernist development features 14 blocks laid out on a grid across a 7ha site.

Hallfield Estate (1955): Description

Six identical 10-storey blocks are set on an east-west axis. Cantilevered reinforced concrete balustraded balconies that provide access for each floor run the length of the north-facing facade.

The balustrading is broken three times in each gallery by ‘accents’ - gallery widening points - highlighted by black railings on each side that contribute to the overall effect of a floating screen within a cream-tiled surround.

Behind the centre ‘accent’ are lifts and a staircase. First floor access is given by staircases, supported on a rectangular Staffordshire blue brick pier, at each end of the north façade.

On alternate floors of the south façade, intermediary mullions couple the floor-to-ceiling windows. These mullions act as protective cappings to the end of structural cross-walls supported by fluted concrete columns at each corner.

Eight six-storey blocks are set at right angles to the 10-story blocks.

Staggered windows and private balconies on alternate floors, with a curved front on plan, pattern the east façade. The west façade, that incorporates the access balconies, is clad with precast brick panels in a honeycomb pattern.

  • To submit your firm’s best projects to the Library please contact AJ Buildings Library editor Tom Ravenscroft.

The AJ Buildings Library

Now included as part of the Architects’ Journal subscription.

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