Dental clinic. Built 1928-31 to the design of Sir John Burnet and Partners. Late C20 alterations including window replacement.
Reasons for Designation
The Eastman Dental clinic of 1928-31, by Sir John Burnet and Partners, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* as a late work of the distinguished architect Sir John Burnet, in partnership with Thomas Tait, an elegant composition in the French American Beaux-Arts tradition with good surviving interior decoration in the Moderne style;
* as a fine example of an inter-war healthcare building.
* as a purpose-built specialist clinic and headquarters of a medical institution which has played a major role in the development of modern public dental healthcare in the UK and which was the first of five Eastman dental clinics in major European cities, the others being Rome (1933); Brussels (1935); Stockholm (1936) and Paris (1937).
This building was built between 1928-31 as the Eastman Dental Clinic, and was originally part of the Royal Free Hospital. The Chairman of the Royal Free Hospital approached the American philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of the Eastman Kodak Co, who had built the ground breaking Rochester Dental Dispensary, New York, in 1917 under the directorship of Dr Harvey J Burkhart (1864-1946). Burkhart was one of the founding fathers of modern dental public health who promoted preventive dentistry starting in childhood, oral hygiene and dietary care.
Eastman provided £200,000 of the cost and Lord Riddell, the Chairman, and Sir Albert Levy, the Honorary Treasurer of the Royal Free Hospital, each gave £50,000. The architects chosen were Sir John Burnet and Partners who had designed Kodak House in 1911. The clinic, with a plan resembling the Rochester Dispensary, provided free dental care for the people of Holborn, St Pancras, Finsbury and Islington, and three wards for oral, ear nose and throat, cleft lip and palate surgery. It was the first of five Eastman Dental Clinics built in capital cities of Europe.
In 1947-8 the Eastman became independent of the Royal Free Hospital and became a postgraduate teaching and research establishment. When the Royal Free Hospital moved to premises in Hampstead in 1974 its former buildings off Grays Inn Road became part of the Eastman Dental Hospital.
The north wing interior was damaged by a bomb in 1944 and has no visible features of special interest other than the stair. Many areas of the building have been modernised.
Dental clinic. Built 1928-31 to the design of Sir John Burnet and Partners. Late C20 alterations include window replacement.
MATERIALS: steel-frame construction clad in brown brick with Portland stone dressings.
PLAN: two storeys high, with a central block of seven bays flanked by lower three-bay cross wings; these have an additional mezzanine floor over a raised basement. There is a central cruciform entrance hall with small rooms set within the angles of the cross. A large waiting room to the left leads through to the north wing; the central corridor to the right has large rooms to either side and leads through to the south wing and staircases. The room plan of each wing differs and has been altered. The upper floor of the central block is a large open-plan treatment room, originally for children. The north wing is much altered internally and interlinked with adjoining hospital buildings.
EXTERIOR: a symmetrical façade in a restrained, Beaux-Arts influenced Classical style. The central seven-bay block has an arcaded ground floor with keystones, of which the central three bays form an engaged portico with a taller central arch carried on Tuscan columns. Arches to the two flanking bays are linked by plain impost bands and have recessed windows and tympana with herringbone brickwork and a stone lozenge motif. The porch is groin-vaulted. The entrance has a moulded stone architrave and dentilled cornice. The tympanum has a carved stone cartouche with the figure of a mother and child, flanked by cornucopiae, enclosed within a glazed fanlight. The panelled double doors have brass letterboxes with an owl motif and a rectangular fanlight. Arched window bays flanking the entrance and to the inner porch sides have the same decorative treatment as the ground floor windows. There are steps to the entrance. The ashlar area walls to the central recessed block continue flush with the stone-faced basement of the flanking wings. The entrance is flanked by pedestals with sculptures of seated boys. The ironwork is missing. The wings have three windows, plus a window to the inner return; those to the ground floor and mezzanine are set within continuous vertical recesses with stone aprons to the upper windows. There is a string course between floors. Upper floor windows have plain reveals. The original steel Crittall windows have been replaced. The rear elevation is plainly finished.
INTERIOR: glazed timber inner doors lead through to a vaulted entrance hall with original fittings and decorative finishes. There are Art Deco suspended wooden light fittings with decorative etched glass lights depicting owls. The walls are lined with buff polished marble with gold fluted friezes; there are black marble bands to door surrounds, the entrance fanlight and above skirtings. Above the doors (on the east side) and windows (on the west side) of the four corner rooms of the entrance hall are inset bas-relief panels of children playing. The floor is of inlaid coloured marble with a large central geometric pattern in the form of an eight-pointed star within a circle, complementing the central circular compartment of the ceiling above. The waiting room to the north has oak dado panelling with a patterned frieze, black ebonised skirtings and door surrounds. Octagonal timber-clad columns to each corner support the angles of the coved ceiling. There is a gold fluted frieze to the walls and column heads.
Open well stairs to the side wings have solid, staggered balustrades with bronze handrails. The large first floor treatment room was refurbished in 1990 and has a suspended ceiling.
A number of original glazed timber doors survive.