Fairchild House And Garden Walls

24 May 2006
Fairchild House And Garden Walls, 2 Charlwood Street, Westminster, City Of Westminster, Greater London, SW1V 2LD
Photograph (Digital)
Not what you're looking for? Try a new search


This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.


104/10136 Number 2, Fairchild House and garden walls


Block of 6 maisonettes with six patio bedsits over. Design won in competition in 1961 by John Darbourne, this block built 1964-8 (phase I) by Darbourne and Geoffrey Darke for Westminster City Council. In-situ reinforced concrete beams and floors, exposed on the elevations, and load-bearing brick crosswalls. Elevations of multi-red hand-made facing bricks, with raked joints. Flat felted roof. Complex plan of two-storey four-bedroom maisonettes with scissor plan - the rear rooms a half floor below the upper - with walled gardens to front and rear. On top of these, reached by external stair and rear rooftop access walk, are bedsit flats accessed via enclosed private patio. Front elevation behind forecourt walls, with overhanging first floor and slightly overhanging second floor. Rear elevations with projecting garden walls, and projecting alternate bedroom windows on first floor. Bedsits reached via rebuilt access stair set with paviours and short external stair to front doors. Dark stained timber double-glazed windows (original), with vertical opening casements. All doors originally also of black stained timber, and most remain. Public spaces and private forecourts (but not the patios) lined with brick paviours. Interiors not of special interest. The garden and courtyard walls with their black-stained timber gates form an integral part of the composition. John Darbourne won a competition for the rebuilding of Lillington Street in 1961, and formed a partnership with Geoffrey Darke to develop the scheme. The design of Lillington took its cue from the important (grade I listed) Church of St James the Less, with its striking Victorian red brick, which the estate surrounds. Architects like James Stirling and James Gowan at Ham Common, Richmond; Leslie Martin at Cambridge University and Basil Spence at Sussex University had begun to explore ways of using a combination of brick and concrete, but not on such a scale or with such intensity of colour or complexity of form. Martin and his proteges had also begun to theorise on the possibilities of low-rise high-density housing in their Bloomsbury project and in their college work at Cambridge, but Lillington was the first low-rise high-density public housing scheme to be built.

Lillington Gardens was epoch making. 'The blocks are more reminiscent of the college campus than of municipal tenements' (Architects' Journal, 1 July 1970). It influenced the style of council housing from the mid-1960s until the early 1980s. The scheme won a Housing Design award in 1969, a Ministry of Housing and Local Government award for good design in 1970, an RIBA Architecture Award in 1970 and a further RIBA commendation in 1973. 'An elegant and exciting environment for young and old, (The Times, 13 September 1972).

Listing NGR: TQ2944578589


This is part of the Series: IOE01/1656 IOE Records taken by Anthony Rau; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr Anthony Rau. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Rau, Anthony

Rights Holder: Rau, Anthony


Brick, Felt, Reinforced Concrete, 20th Century Flats, Domestic, Multiple Dwelling, Dwelling, Maisonette, Gate, Unassigned, Garden Wall, Gardens Parks And Urban Spaces, Monument <By Form>, Wall, Barrier