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Ordnance survey map of 1-218 PULLMAN COURT
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Greater London Authority
Lambeth (London Borough)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ 30464 73252


TQ3073 26/1128

STREATHAM HILL, SW2 (east side) Pullman Court Nos 1 to 218



Ten ranges of flats arranged in three blocks, designed as a tight, single composition, with open-air swimming pool. 1933-5 by Frederick Gibberd; Mouchel and Partners engineers. Reinforced concrete frame on 11'3" centres clad in four inch concrete panels now rendered and painted, with some tile cladding and with a one inch layer of cork insulation. Flat roof. A near symmetrical composition, save that in the central line of the two main blocks all galleries face north and all balconies face south. The plan was determined by the long, narrow site and by the desire to minimise the impact of the busy main road. The main composition consists of two long blocks set either side of an access road. These each comprise a three-storey block to the front (with type A accommodation), with prominent central projecting stair tower, with long five-storey ranges at right-angles behind (type B), terminating in five and three-storey ranges (the last with type C accommodation) at the rear again set at right angles and running away from the access road; that to the north set round the swimming pool. In addition the northern block has a three-storey wing projecting towards the road at its northern end (again with type C accommodation). Terminating the vista to the east is a seven-storey block with a double cruciform plan and entirely symmetrical (type D). The ranges are further distinguished by containing different sizes of flats. Type A are the largest flats, comprising three bedrooms with living rooms and a dining recess. Type B consists of one and two-room flats each with their own balcony, the two-room flats with a sliding partition to unite the living and bedrooms if required; they are served by access galleries on the shady side of the blocks. Type C and D are three-room flats, type D to a longer and less compact plan. Both are reached off central staircases. All elevations of white painted render, with original metal windows and most flats retaining original doors. All blocks have a steel balustrade to roof, with gantry to enable easy window cleaning - an early example of such a feature. The abutment of the front ranges with the five-storey ranges behind allows for the expression of glazed stairwells on both ranges to be treated as a continuous composition, to which the projecting galleries on the northern face of the latter add a further constructivist interest. On the front elevation the largest flats have projecting bays to their living rooms, at front and back, clad in cream glazed tiles uncovered in 1996. The long south elevations have projecting balconies on the upper floors to alternating bays, of alternating widths, with thin steel balustrading to sides and fronts - again alternately. Northern elevations with access galleries to each upper floor reached via stairs at the end of each range. The staircase entrances with original glass double doors with chrome push plates and fittings. The lower rear blocks with all-steel balustrades to projecting balconies and single central door to central staircase. The rear block similarly treated but a more monumental composition, with vertically glazed windows turning corners in the re-entrant angles on the front facade, and broad concrete balconies to front projecting wings. Central entrance set back under broad canopy. Simple steel balustrading to staircases continues the idiom of the exterior into the internal public spaces. The interiors of the flats not inspected. Pullman Court is one of the first developments of flats built in the International Modern style in Britain. Its style owes something to the work of Walter Gropius and German constructivism, with a variety of detailing and refinement not found in other British flats at that time, and with a practicality in the features and fittings that was also unusual and far-sighted. It is the first major work of its architect, Sir Frederick Gibberd, who went on to specialise in the design of flats and later to be the master planner of Harlow New Town and architect of Heathrow Airport and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, but who did not venture another serious essay in such a fundamentally modern style. Sources Architecture, Design and Construction, July 1935 Building, February 1936 Architects' Journal, 6 August 1936 Information from Lady Gibberd

Listing NGR: TQ3046473252


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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

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 19 Aug 1999
Reference: IOE01/00924/05
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr David March. Source Historic England Archive
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