Offices and showrooms. Built 1963-5 by the Cadogan Estate to the design of Brett and Pollen Architects; the design was largely that of Harry Teggin, a partner in the firm.
Reasons for Designation
190-192 Sloane Street is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: a distinguished and well-detailed post-war office commercial building designed in a wholly contemporary idiom with respect for context. The use of curtain wall glazing for the cantilevered office superstructure, balanced by the bold concrete horizontals of the two-storey showrooms and garage below, is a notable departure from the pure, often bland, curtain-wall construction favoured in the 1950s and '60s;
* Materials and finishes: the quality of the curtain-wall glazing and exposed concrete structure, providing strong contrasts in tone and texture, again distinguish the building from many office developments of the period.
The redevelopment of the site, previously occupied by early-mid C19 terraced houses and shops, formed part of the phased redevelopment of the Sloane Street area by the Cadogan Estate under Lionel Brett (Lord Esher), the principal partner in the architectural practice Brett and Pollen. The ground-floor showrooms were originally occupied by Seker’s Silks, the firm founded near Whitehaven in 1938 by the Hungarian émigré textile entrepreneur (Sir) Nicholas ‘Miki’ Sekers. The interiors, designed by Dennis Lennon, with fittings by the sculptor Robert Adams, no longer survive.
The design of the curtain wall was inspired by the pioneering iron and glass façade of Oriel Chambers, Liverpool (1864) by Peter Ellis, a prototype of modern office design. It was the first of three highly sophisticated curtain wall elevations designed by Teggin; the others were Pall Mall Court, Manchester (1966-8) and Portsmouth Guildhall extension (completed 1975).
The integration of modern buildings into city streetscapes was a question which preoccupied the distinguished architect, town planner and conservationist Lionel Brett. The scheme for 190-192 Sloane Street, which entailed the widening of the junction with Harriet Street, reflects these contextual concerns in respecting both the original building line through the cantilevered upper floors, and the height of adjacent buildings.
MATERIALS: reinforced concrete, supported on four columns only. The exposed concrete structure at ground and mezzanine levels has an aggregrate of white Cornish granite, mica and feldspar. Curtain wall has a black anodised aluminium frame, double-glazed windows and black glass spandrel panels.
PLAN: the lower part of the building, comprising a basement, ground-floor showroom and garage to the rear and a mezzanine level projecting above the garage roof, is deeper in plan than the office superstructure. Above are five storeys of offices. Along the north side of the building are the main stair surrounding the lift shaft, WCs, and a cantilevered escape stair.
EXTERIOR: the ground floor and mezzanine levels have full-height glazing recessed behind square piers; the concrete deck of the mezzanine floor is fully exposed externally and within. Glazed doors to office entrance. The main office block is fully glazed; this oversails the ground floor, maintaining the line of the previous buildings on the site. The 9” depth between the outer and inner glazing is expressed externally by vertical recesses running the full height of the curtain wall. The reinforced concrete and steel open stair is a prominent feature of the east elevation, providing a third elevation of interest.
INTERIOR: the interiors of the showrooms and the offices retain no features of note, and are not of special interest.