Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

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

Greater London Authority
Wandsworth (London Borough)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ 21871 74207



1207/19/10054 Charcot House

GV II* Block of 75 maisonettes. Designed 1952-3; built 1955-8 by the London County Council's Architect's Department, Colin Lucas Architect in Charge, J A Partridge, W G Howell, J A W Killick, S F Amis, J R Galley and R Stout job architects. W V Zinn and Partners engineers. Reinforced concrete in-situ frame of board-marked concrete now painted, with storey-height prefabricated concrete panels with Dorset shingle and Derbyshire spar exposed aggregate; flat roof. The plan consists of five tiers each of fifteen maisonettes each a 12' bay, raised on alternating lines of two and three piloti at bay intervals along the ground floor. The nine bays south of the lift shaft are unenclosed. Top of lift shaft and services expressed on roof as geometric shapes. Double-height lift landings, paved. Each maisonette has private balcony facing east, and galllery access from west; the upper three tiers of flats additionally with steel emergency access balconies at bedroom level. Timber windows (original) with open casements and flush timber doors. Each maisonette with kitchen and living room on lower level, two bedrooms and internal, mechanically ventilated bathroom and toilet (a new departure in planning) on upper level; internal fittings not of special interest. Ramp of board-marked concrete in front of lifts incorporates Corbusian drip mould, much imitated in the most progressive architecture of the time. The slab blocks devised by this team are inspired by Le Corbusier's Unite d'Habitation in Marseilles, which Howell and others had visited in 1951. The proportions are based on his 'Modulor' and the Fibonacci number sequence. The expression of each maisonettes as an individual element in the facade marked a new rigour and sophistication in slab design. The placing of the slabs into the side of the hill, a revision made in September 1953, is a powerful and skillful response to their landscape setting in Downshire Field, an C18 landscape much remodelled and enhanced by the team; the steep slope gave purpose to the pilotis; the relationship of the blocks to each other and the landscape is a 'majestic' piece of town planning (Ian Nairn). They are the centrepiece of the Alton West Estate, the LCC's most ambitious post-war development scheme and considered 'probably the finest low-cost housing development in the world' (G E Kidder Smith).

Listing NGR: TQ2187174207


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Bruckmann, H, Lewis, D L, New Housing in Great Britain, (1960), 60-98
Kidder Smith, G E , The New Architecture of Europe, (1961), 44
Nairn, I, Modern Buildings in London, (1964), 62-63
Pepper, S, 'The Cambridge Guide to the Arts in Britain' in Housing At Roehampton, (1988), 279-287


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

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Date: 12 Aug 2006
Reference: IOE01/15475/20
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr David Addison. Source Historic England Archive
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