Here is the Welsh Jewin Church seen from Brackley Street.
This is one of those ephemeral views: a huge new building is about to go up behind the hoarding, and this view will be completely obscured.
The church is Eglwys Jewin, the Welsh Church. I have drawn it before, from Fortune Park. Here’s the link – Eglwys Jewin from Fortune Park
In the background is Great Arthur House, on the Golden Lane Estate. This estate was designed by Chamberlain Powell and Bon, before they did the Barbican Estate.
As I was drawing, a man came and told me about Great Arthur Tower. It was the tallest residential building at the time of its completion (1957). At the top is that strange construction which I was told was described by the architects as a “brise de soleil”, a sun shade. Nicholas Pevsner, the architectural writer, was scathing about it, saying that there wasn’t much sun. However, as the man and I agreed, today was very sunny, and the sun shade was needed.
Great Arthur House has recently been refurbished.
“JRA has designed the new curtain walling to replace the original cladding, mirroring the bright yellow panels that have distinguished it since the 1950s. The Grade II listed residential tower had become environmentally inefficient in recent years leading to the residents’ discomfort due to water ingress, heat loss and condensation. Replacement curtain walls for the West and East elevations, double glazed timber balcony doors, external redecorations, localised external concrete repairs, and a cleaning and maintenance system for the new façade are also being provided to help revive the landmark building.” JRA website, 30th Sept 2016
And then insulation was removed after the Grenfell Tower fire. Here’s a cutting from CityMatters, the local paper:
As I was packing up a woman came and asked, “Can I be curious?” I said she could indeed, and showed her the picture, which she admired. She looked at other pictures in the book, including one of Peabody Tower. “I look at that, from my window”, she said, “I’d love to live there. I see a balcony with flowers….”. I said it was called Peabody Tower, and the other, similar one was St Mary’s Tower. “Oh! Are they Peabody buildings?” she asked. I said they were, part of the Banner Estate. She lives in Tudor Rose Court. This is the building on the left of the picture, in yellow brick. She’d just been to see a film. She found the ticket to show me the title. It was “Distant Voices, Still Lives”, about a family in Liverpool, she told me. She loves Liverpool.
This picture drawn and coloured on location, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.