This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.
TQ 22 73 WANDSWORTH, LB WANBOROUGH DRIVE (north side)
1207/11/10059 Witley Point
Point block of 43 flats. 1952-5 by the London County Council's Architect's Department Housing Division; Rosemary Stjernstedt Architect in Charge, A W Cleeve Barr and Oliver Cox principal job architects. Ove Arup and Partners, engineers. In-situ reinforced concrete frame, clad in grey 'clinker block' brickwork, with some expression of the concrete floors as bonds in the composition. Flat roof with projecting service tower expressed as rounded sculptural form. Three flats on ground floor, four on each upper floor (one 1-bedroom and three 2-bedroom units) set in corners of picturesquely asymmetrical plan, with partially projecting balconies at corners. Lift lobby runs through centre of building, with pair of lifts serving alternate floors and two escape staircases, once brightly coloured. Ground floor partially set back and painted, with storerooms (and initially a laundry) which retain their original galvanised steel fenestration, as do the staircases. Windows to flats renewed in UPVC-coated aluminium within original openings and to similar pattern (some mullions eliminated). Balconies with original panelled fronts. Each block denoted by different-patterned tilework at entrance formed of white and two varieties of black and white speckled tiles to give illusion of contrasting grey and near-black; each block with a distinctive pattern, that at Witley Point formed of white and near-black rectangles. Original sign of tiles. The point blocks at Alton East were the first public housing in Britain to have mechanically-ventilated lavatories and bathrooms, and the first high housing to have central heating. The interiors of the flats not otherwise of special interest. Witley Point retains tilework up the staircases, under paintwork.
The LCC's earlier experiments with point block design had been too expensive, later variants were more mechanical; these are included as the best examples of their pioneering work in designing groups of tall flats. The name point block was coined by the Alton East team and is derived from the Swedish 'punkthaus', a source of their inspiration. Another was the English housing tradition, which led to their use of brick, respect for earlier LCC work nearby and an interest in what prospective tenants wanted. Alton East is remarkable for its picturesque massing, which maximises its sloping site and the retention and enhancement of Victoria planting from the gardens to villas previously there, by grouping the points at the top of the rise (where they also shield traffic noise) and setting the contrasting red-brick houses and maisonettes round them. It epitomises the humanist tradition in post-war British architecture.
Listing NGR: TQ2259673378
© Mr Christopher Fransella. Source: Historic England Archive
This photograph was taken for the Images of England project
People & Organisations
Photographer: Fransella, Christopher
Rights Holder: Fransella, Christopher
Brick, Reinforced Concrete, Tile, 20th Century Concrete Framed Building, Monument <By Form>, Flats, Domestic, Multiple Dwelling, Dwelling, Laundry, Commercial, Storehouse, Unassigned, Building