Heritage Category: Listed Building
List Entry Number: 1051032
Date first listed: 22-Dec-1998
Statutory Address: DRYDEN COURT, 9-16, PARKLEYS
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Statutory Address: DRYDEN COURT, 9-16, PARKLEYS
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: Greater London Authority
District: Richmond upon Thames (London Borough)
National Grid Reference: TQ 17838 71623
TQ 1771 PARKLEYS, HAM COMMON
22/23/10050 9-16 Dryden Court
Two blocks, each of four flats, linked at corners. 1954-5 by Eric Lyons for Bargood Estates Ltd, subsequently Span Developments Ltd; Geoffrey Paulson Townsend developer, G Scoble project architect, Wates builders. Brick cross- and partition walls, concrete 'Eternit' block and tile hanging. Flat felted roof. Each block is rectangular with central entrance-way and stairs, set in 'L' formation. Main facades of five bays divided by brick strips, with full width timber windows of three square panes per bay, some with top opening casements, the storeys divided by tile hanging. Entrance facade to Nos. 9-12 has boarded timber screen to left of entrance, divided by horizontal panel which incorporates the numbers of the flats. The bays either side have two deeper windows divided at sill level, with window boxes; blind lights at right of end bays. Rear facade has entrance way to ground floor, with vertical staircase window of two panes to first floor, louvres to both storeys. Other bays in mirrored composition around centre, the innermost window blind, then two windows in tripartite composition with central top-opening casement; blind lights in centre of end bays. Nos. 13-16 identical except that the entrance is from 'rear' facade. Staircases with steel balustrades incorporating timber panels to first flight and first-floor landing. Stores to Nos. 9-12 with blue-glazed doors, while Nos. 13-16 have green; both with stairs of red-brown terrazzo. Interiors of flats originally with timber floors, and sliding partitions to some living rooms, but have not been inspected. Dryden Court forms the entrance to the influential Parkleys Estate, the first and largest of Eric Lyons's works for Span. Eric Lyons and Geoffrey Townsend met in the late 1930s and renewed their partnership after wartime service. They developed a number of select private developments in the south west London and Surrey borders, until in 1954 Townsend set himself up as a developer and was forced to give up his RIBA membership. This is their first mature work, and their first as Span Developments Ltd. It is on the site of a nursery, and the blocks of flats were carefully laid out so that existing trees were kept, and the nursery stock and its gardener were taken over as part of the development. It is laid out as a series of cul-de-sacs, with many of the blocks set out in quadrangles - Dryden Court is the only example where the courtyard is pierced by the spine road so that the development is in two halves. The combination of two and three-storey blocks is distinctive to Parkleys, while that of brick and tile hanging was repeated subsequently in Span works, particularly at Blackheath. Their mixture of old materials used in a modern manner makes for a particularly humane environment that was much admired. Lyons's squares and terraces were a modern vernacular answer to the Georgian tradition of central London, set in lush Suburban landscaping but at such relatively high densities (about 80 persons per acre) that Span were frequently in dispute with planning authorities. Parkleys was developed for first-time buyers, and Span was one of the first companies to promote the endowment mortgage. It is also the first example of the system of residents' management companies set up by Span which has kept many of their developments in such exceptional condition. Each leaseholder contributes to the funding of paid maintenance staff, and is a member of the management company that runs the estate. Eric Lyons was admired for 'bridging the gap' between speculative work and the creativity many architects of his generation only found in the public sector. 'Twenty years ago he would have been regarded as barely respectable, today he is important. He may even come to be looked back upon as a key figure' (Architectural Review, February 1959). The ability to work in such a close partnership with a sympathetic developer enabled Lyons to pursue his own ideas in materials, layout and design. Yet 'the architect has to design and organise so that buildings can be produced at the same cost as a builder's scheme providing the same accommodation, as Townsend reminded the Architects' Journal (20 January 1955, p.72).
Listing NGR: TQ1783871623
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 471926
Legacy System: LBS
Books and journals
'Architects Journal' in 20 January, (1955), 72
'Architect and Building News' in 27 November, (1957), 715-24
'Architectural Review' in February, (1959), 108-120
'Architecture and Building' in August, (1955), 289-94
This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
End of official listing