Cuthbert Harrowing House

Location

Cuthbert Harrowing House looks over Fann Street at the front. At the back it looks over a paved courtyard towards Great Arthur House.

Maisonettes

18 two-storey maisonettes, 14 two-bedroom, 4 three-bedroom near the western end.

Lower level

  • Main entrance from a rear corridor.
  • Kitchen, dining area, and living room.
  • Glazed screen between the kitchen and the dining area.
    Hardwood veneer floors.
  • Staircase from the living room to the upper floor. (In the upper maisonettes, the stairs rise from opposite the front door.)
  • The double height stairwell and the open tread of the staircases were designed to increase the impression of space.

Upper level

  • Two bedrooms and a bathroom. (In the two western bays, on either side of the secondary access, the flats have an additional third bedroom in the space left by the stairwell.)
  • Bathroom is in the centre and has “clerestory glazing” (windows above eye level).
  • Balconies at the front (see below).

The overall layout

  • 4 storeys, with basement stores underneath.
  • “Mono pitch” (flat) roof.
  • Two rows of two-storey maisonettes. (The way architects put it is that the building “presents” as two terraces of two-storey houses, one on top the other.)
  • Maisonettes runs through the building from front to back..

Crosswalls and bays

  • A series of crosswalls divides the building into bays.
  • Each bay contains two-storey maisonettes on top of each other.
  • The crosswalls were built from pink bricks with pink mortar.
  • The crosswalls form the main structural support for the building, allowing the maisonettes in between them to have a mainly glass frontage.

Rear of the building

  • The rear of the building faces a courtyard below street level.
  • The courtyard is reached via three ramp downs from the western side of the building, and also stairs from street level.
  • The cross walls are replaced by wide brick piers.
  • There are stores behind the piers at courtyard level.
  • At ‘ground’/street level and second floor levels, corridors run along the back of the building behind the piers, giving access between the maisonettes and the main stairs of the stair case and entrance block.
  • The entrances to the maisonettes are timber doors set in pairs.
  • The ‘ground’/street level floor corridor is protected from burglars by metal bars from floor to ceiling, with a glazed window in front of each maisonette’s rear window, presumably to reduce the impression of being behind bars.
  • On the upper floors of the maisonettes, windows extend to the front of the piers.
  • At the western end of the building there in an extra set of escape stairs which take up the back half of the penultimate bay and reach courtyard level.

Windows and panels

  • The crosswalls extend to the building line at the front, but most windows are set back a couple of feet behind that.
  • The penultimate bay on the western end contains third bedrooms for flats on either side. The windows of these extra bedrooms are flush with the very front of the building.
  • Windows are all set in aluminium surrounds.
  • Bright blue cladding panels are set in bands below the windows, which are also in the aluminium framework. Generally there are four panels for each set of two windows.
  • Continuous bands of glazing and blue panels appear on the top floor of the upper maisonettes.

Balconies for upper maisonettes

  • The upper maisonettes have concrete balconies at the front.
  • Each balcony run between the crosswalls with steel railings along the top.
  • Each balcony has gaps for a first few inches from floor level, presumably to allow water to drain away.

Access galleries for lower maisonettes

  • Each lower maisonette has an access gallery (a semi-balcony) outside the lower front windows.
  • Concrete steps lead up from the front courtyard, and then steps paved in quarry tiles lead up to the access gallery.
  • The access gallery has a low concrete wall with metal railings set in it.

Staircase and entrance

  • At the eastern end of the building is a staircase and entrance block, which contains the stairs to the other levels. It is mainly a metal frame with glazed panels.
  • Each flight of stairs and its landing was constructed as a single pre-cast piece of concrete, with metal railings set into it.
  • The staircase then opens onto the corridors running along the back of the building at the entrance door level of each set of maisonettes.
  • There is a rubbish chute like a huge pipe running beside the staircase and entrance block.

Secondary access

  • The penultimate bay at the western end contains a secondary escape coming out of the rear of the building.
  • The staircase only takes up the back half of that bay. This leaves spare space for third bedrooms for the maisonettes on either side.

Front garden or courtyard

  • The garden (more like a courtyard) is about four feet down from street level and protected by black-painted metal railings.
  • The garden is essentially a paved space of about 15 feet between the building and the pavement.
  • There are steps down to the garden from the entrance structure at the eastern end.
  • There are bushes and trees growing in areas at regular intervals next to the pavement. Some people put out pots with their own plants.

Name

Thomas Cuthbert Harrowing was the former chairman of the Public Health Committee, prior to 1951 when the estate was built.

Cuthbert Harrowing 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.

2 Beds on Ground and First

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