A peregrination in De Beauvoir Town

I went for a long walk North.

De Beauvoir Town and De Beauvoir Estate are next to each other.

Here is a quick sketch of the very pretty houses on De Beauvoir Square, De Beauvoir Town. A tower block near Dalston Junction is just visible.

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Just around the corner is the lovely St Peter’s Church, designed by WC Lockner, 1830s. In the basement of the Church, they serve lunch every Friday.

Then I walked back South, along De Beauvoir Road.

Here is a view looking West. The houses in the foreground are on De Beauvoir Road. In the background is Portelet Court, part of the De Beauvoir Estate, 1960s, Hackney Homes.

I drew Portelet Court as reddish. When I went into the estate to find the name of the block, I saw that the cladding is a dark grey. It only looked red because the sun was setting.

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Portelet Court, over the rooves of houses on De Beauvoir Road.

I drew this picture sitting on the pavement on De Beauvoir Road. About an hour. As I was getting up a cyclist stopped. I must have looked a bit awkward. He asked if I was ok. I said yes, puzzled. “I thought you had fallen over” said the cyclist, “you don’t often see people sitting on the pavement.”

I guess you don’t.

The Charterhouse: entrance to Preachers’ Court

Here is the entrance to Preachers’ Court in The Charterhouse. The Admiral Ashmore Building is on the left.

While I was drawing this, Stanley Underhill, a Brother, came to chat. He has catalogued the Charterhouse art collection, he told me. It took him seven years. He wrote a book “Charterhouse Art” which is in the shop.

He told me the dates on the buildings. The Admiral Ashmore Building – 2000. In the background, the building with the castellations, 1840, and the ancient building on the right, 1530.

September 20th 2017

I drew this picture in a new book, which is 10 inches by 11inches.

The larger size meant that the picture took longer.

3 hours, drawn and coloured on location.

Bastion House from Podium Level

Bastion House aka 140 London Wall is a huge modernist monolith, reminiscent of the monolith in “2001 – A Space Odyssey”. I couldn’t find a site to draw the monolith part today, so here is a view at Podium Level, looking West towards the Museum of London.

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You see the dark undercroft, walkways and a road to a car park. Also you see the bridge that crosses London Wall.

http://postwarbuildings.com describes it thus:

“London Wall was part of a movement of amazing optimism and faith in the ideology of architectural modernism and its promise of a new built form for the city following the devastation of the blitz. It demonstrates what was possible within the breadth of vision following the Second World War and the new powers of centralised planning control. The London that emerged from the ruins of war was to be the remedy to the haphazard milieu of previous. London Wall emerged as a segment of architectural clarity, symbolic of the efforts of the public body to exercise control over the built environment and crucially attempts on the private sector.”

Architects: Powell and Moya, 1972

Here are some images of the monolith in the film “2001 – A Space Odyssey” (1968) which surely influenced, or was influenced by, architecture of the period.

I recently learned that Bastion House is going to be demolished, along with the Museum of London which is adjacent. That’s why I rushed out to draw it. The building is not listed. Here is the “immunity” listing, which is the reverse of a listing:

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downloaded from: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1427161

I drew Bastion House from a very convenient ledge behind an iron gate. About an hour and 20mins.

Here is a drawing of the Museum of London which I did last year:

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Bastion House is just off to the right.

London Wall Place from Salters Hall Garden

 

I sketched this after a visit to Salters Hall as part of “Open House London”.
Salters Hall is one of the London Livery companies, very ancient. The building was completed in 1976 to the designs of Sir Basil Spence. It was refurbished, with substantial alterations, in 2014. The architects for the alterations were de Metz Forbes Knight. There is a new entrance pavilion added on the East side, and they filled in the “undercroft” or open area that had been created by the 1970s architect. The Hall is off the drawing, to the left. I shall return to draw it.

The garden is open to the public. It will be even more accessible and obvious once the London Wall Place development is done.

No. 1 London Wall Place is in the back of the drawing. It is a development by Brookfields, The original Roman London wall is on the right, partly covered in scaffolding and plastic sheeting.
“London Wall Place is a 500,000 sq ft scheme designed by MAKE” says the website.

I have previously drawn the new bridge across Wood Street, which is part of this development.

 

The Charterhouse, West Wall

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Here is a sketch looking towards the Main Gate of The Charterhouse. The building with the curved gables is now the Pavior’s House, which is occupied by the Pavior’s Livery Company:

The Worshipful Company of Paviors moved into a new home in 2010. The Company has a long lease on a Grade 1 listed property formerly known as ‘The Master’s Cottage’ at Sutton’s Hospital in the Charterhouse. The property has been refurbished and is now known as Paviors’ House. – From the website of the Worshipful Company of Paviors, 14 Sept 2017.

Pavior means one who lays paving stones, and the modern livery company retains links with the paving industry.

This drawing was a lot more difficult than I expected. I was very pleased to get all the high walls in the background onto the one page. I liked the way they tower above the lower buildings. And all the architecture is different periods. The Tudor buildings of Charterhouse are on the left.

The drawing took 2hours45minutes.

Here is what it looked like before I coloured it:

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Charterhouse have now created notecards using my pictures.

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Towers of Finsbury – Rahere and Kestrel

I have been trying to find good views of Rahere and Kestral Houses,  two Towers of Finsbury which I can see from my window.

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From “King Square Estate Regeneration, Summer 2015 Issue 4” by Islington Council.

Rahere is in the King Square Estate. This estate was built by Islington Council in 1959-61. The architects were Emberton, Franck and Tardew. Franck had worked for Tecton, the firm who designed the Spa Green Estate. King Square Estate is currently subject of improvements including addition of new dwellings.In between all the blocks is St Clements Church.

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Rahere House is just visible to the left. The new tower, Lexicon, is above it on the left. Carerra House, of the 250 City Road development, is under construction, visible to the right of the spire.

I couldn’t find a distant view of Rahere House, so here is a close-up.

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This is one of the back doors. The architects thoughtfully provided lead-lined troughs, at waist height, for flower pots, I assume. One of these is shown in the drawing, to the right of the door. Off the picture to the left, these continue as long boxes, like water-troughs. None of them are used, presumably because the council don’t do flowers and the temptation for vandals is too great.

Instead, residents have their own plants, inside their windows and out on the balcony. See also the feral plant, growing out of the concrete above the door, top left.

Turnpike House is on the same King Square estate. Turnpike I have drawn before.

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Turnpike House, King Square Estate, from the Goswell Road

To the North of Rahere is Kestrel House. This tower is on Moreland Street and City Road. It is currently surrounded by building work associated with the Bunhill Heat and Power. This scheme takes energy from braking Tube trains and uses it to heat local houses and schools.

Kestrel House is on the “City Road Estate”. I found a view of of it from Hall Street: it’s the rectangular tower block in the middle. The Lexicon, otherwise known as “Chronicle Tower”, a new development by “Mount Anvil” is the sloping building behind.
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The building which dominates this drawing, on the right, is the premises of “Level(3)”. I walked round the block a couple of times to see what it was. The windows on the street side are high, and there are serious steel shutters over every entrance. Note the huge ventilation shafts. It looks somehow as though it’s ventilating a larger volume than the building, as though it goes down a number of stories below ground. The business of Level(3), according to a web search, is “Connecting and Protecting the Networked World”.

The red-brick building straight ahead was previously “St Marks Hospital Nurses Home”. This is cast into the stone work above a former door on Pickard Street. The door is no longer in use, and fenced off. “Founded 1835, Erected 1853”. The main entrance now is on City Road. It looks disused. Fallen leaves clutter the steps, the grass wafts unmown. But there is a car park, so perhaps there’s another entrance from there that I couldn’t see. It’s “300 City Road”, which appears online as Citidines Serviced apartments.

Behind me when I drew this was Peregrine House, another tower, very high.

Later I went back to try to get views of Peregrine House.

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President House, left, Peregrine House, centre.

I forgot to take my drawing book.

I’ll have another go at these towers.

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Buildings served by “Bunhill Heat and Power 2” – in green.

Chequer Court and Braithwaite House EC2

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The drawing shows the lovely brick building, now called “Chequer Court”, with Braithwaite House behind.

I drew the picture from Whitecross Estate East, in a quiet courtyard off Chequer Street. A record three people came to talk to me. Arabella was tending her garden flowers in pots and crumbling wooden boxes, on the other side of the courtyard. She came over and told me that the brick building used to be the community centre. She had done oil painting there. Previous to that, it had been a school. She described the marvellous high windows, and large rooms. There was a café.

She said, “Do you like the buildings?”, indicating the Peabody buildings surrounding us. When I said that I did, she said they were “like prisons”. “They are all different inside, of course.” she added. She explained that there were going to be changes, they were going to build another block on top of the low-level office in front of us. “So you should come back,” she said, “This is a historic view.”

She said that underneath the square was all hollowed out, for bomb shelters. Construction work was going on behind us. “They have demolished the pram sheds”. Arabella was irritated that, in doing so, they had strewn rubble over the planted boxes.

Another woman approached me much later. She also remembered the community centre. She did yoga there. “It was only 20 years ago.” She was concerned lest I was the harbinger of “another plan”.

“No,” I said, “Not another plan. Just a drawing.” I showed her the drawing, to reassure her.

As I packed up my things, a third woman came to say hello. She wanted to see the drawing, and said it was very good. Her small white dog tugged at her and slowed her up as we walked. Eventually he stopped her altogether and I walked on.

Later, online, I found the plan to which the second woman referred. There is a plan by Islington dated March 2017 to improve the public areas of the West and East Whitecross Estates.

http://planning.islington.gov.uk/NorthgatePublicDocs/00421223.pdf

The brick building was indeed a school. It seems to have  been known as Northampton Secondary Technical School,  which was in existence in 1924, and certainly up to the early 1960s. Searching online I found references to a “Bunhill Row Chequer Street Council School” whose records, 1928-1933 are in the National Archive, Kew ref ED 21/34646, but no further details. In 1998 “negotiation was completed for the sale of the Bunhill Row site for £22 million” according to “City and Islington College, the First 20 years” by Tom Jupp and Andrew Morris. Now it is luxury flats, and is called Chequer Court.

I have sketched Braithwaite House before:
View from Chequer Street EC1
Braithwaite House from Fortune Park
It has now had all its cladding removed.

About 2hr 15min, including conversations. Drawn and coloured on location.