Crescent House

Location

Crescent House runs the length of the estate along Goswell Road, from just below Old Street in the north to Fann Street in the south.

Maisonettes

159 flats.

  • Main entrance from a central corridor.
  • Kitchen, living room, and bedroom area.
  • Glazed screen between the kitchen and the dining area.
  • Hardwood veneer floors.
  • Head-high partition to form bedroom.
  • All flats are rectangular despite being placed within a curving structure along Goswell Road.
  • Flats are on one side or other of a central corridor (so, facing Goswell Road or into the estate). The access corridor is exposed to open air on top floor.

Structure and layout of building

  • 4 storeys, 3 of flats, 1 of shops with stores off an access road underneath.
  • “Mono pitch” (flat) roof.
  • Reinforced concrete construction which is bush hammered
    The ground floor shops are set back behind pilotis (columns), which are clad in mosaic
  • The block is curved along the front to Goswell Road. The back is straight.
  • There is an open well at the southern end of block.
  • Shops originally had entrances to the estate as well as to the estate.
  • Shops have their own terrace above an access road for deliveries, which is at the level of the tennis courts.
  • The concrete above the columns is pick-hammered – a forerunner of what was later done in the Barbican Estate.

Windows

  • Round-arched cornices and sill bands frame the windows on upper floors, each arch (shaped like an eyebrow) covering a flat’s width.
  • When I refer to a flat or a pair of flats in the next point, I mean three flats and three pairs of flats, because flats are stacked above each other on three floors – first, second and third.
  • On the Goswell Street side, a pair of flats shares the same front line, and pairs are staggered at slightly different angles along the whole frontage to accommodate its curve. The angle between adjoining pairs is more acute at each end of the block.
  • Each pair visibly sits under a pair of ‘eyebrows’.
  • Each pair has outer windows which are more or less flush with the frontage, and two inner windows which form a single ‘box’ projecting out of the frontage.
  • The windows are mainly hardwood timber windows stained dark, with pivoting centrally-hung casements and some aluminium side opening lights.

Balconies

At the southern end, there are large rectangular concrete balconies at second and third floor level, with a dividing screen, for the pair of adjoining flats.

Grade II* listing

Crescent House was constructed in 1958-62 by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon. The listing description says: “Geoffry Powell explained how important the work of Le Corbusier was to the practice at that time. His Maisons Jaoul was particularly widely admired in Britain, but its use for the curve of Goswell Road is particularly handsome in its geometry and use of a variety of timber and concrete finishes. It is grade II* [‘grade two, star’] for its place in the evolution of post war architecture and for the sophistication with which the contrasting materials and geometry of the facade are handled.”

Crescent House flat plans

Please note. These plans are illustrations and approximations only. They illustrate types of flats. They don’t show the actual demise, size, layout or dimensions of any particular flat. Individual flats may differ, or have been altered.

Studio (left)

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Studio (right)

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1 Bed (left)

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1 Bed (right)

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2 Bed Flat

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1 Bed Rear Flat

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