Heritage Category: Listed Building
List Entry Number: 1051041
Date first listed: 22-Dec-1998
Statutory Address: SHELLEY COURT, 1-12, PARKLEYS
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Statutory Address: SHELLEY COURT, 1-12, 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 17946 71616
TQ 1771 PARKLEYS, HAM COMMON
22/23/10056 Nos.1-12 Shelley Court
Block of twelve flats. 1954-6 by Eric Lyons for Bargood Estates Ltd, subsequently Span Developments Ltd; Geoffrey Paulson Townsend developer, G Scroble project architect, Wates builders. Brick end and partition walls, concrete, tile hanging and 'Eternit' block. Flat felted roof with brick stacks. Three storeys. 'H'-plan with central entrance and stairwell; each floor has four flats. Entrance front has centre of four fully glazed bays in metal frame, apart from open entrance to right side; the ground floor masked by covered walkway of timber which bears the name of the block. To the side of these windows are concrete lattice ventilation panels. Rear elevation has as its centrepiece a tripartite composition of concrete lattice ventilation panels. All other windows are of timber. Flank walls with continuous horizontal glazing. Main rooms overlook side elevations, of four bays. On the upper floors each group of three windows has to right two deeper windows with window box, divided at sill level (and one by top opening); the ground floor has a full-length French window instead of the shorter opening. Tile hanging between each storey. Brick end walls have one square window towards centre on each floor. Paved ground floor. Grey terrazzo stairs and landings. Steel balustrades with timber panels. The interiors of flats not inspected.
Parkleys is the first, largest and perhaps the most influential of Eric Lyons's schemes for Span. Lyons and Townsend met in the late 1930s and renewed their partnership after war service. They developed a number of small private developments in the south-west London and north 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 the taller blocks on the edge of the site a distinctive series of 'points' that contrast to the grid of lower development. The combination of two- and three-storey blocks is distinctive to Parkleys, while that of brick and tile hanging was repeated at Blackheath. Their mixture of old materials used in a modern manner makes for a particularly humane environment which was much admired. The tall blocks with their concrete panels were Lyons's most distinctive essays in the 'contemporary' 1950s idiom. 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 most 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 creativity most architects of his generation only found in the public sector 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). This has so proved. The opportunity to work in such a close partnership with a sympathetic development enabled Lyons to pursue his own ideas in materials, layout and design. Yet the blocks had to be simple, for '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', so Townsend told the Architects' Journal for 20 January 1955.
Listing NGR: TQ1794671616
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 471935
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