Our module on the conservation of modern buildings included field trip to view Chamberlin Powell and Bon’s work in the City. Starting at Golden Lane, the winning competition entry of 1951 around which the practice was founded (the stuff architectural dreams are made of…) the tour took in a progression of their work. This included the colourful optimism of Great Arthur House (once tallest residential building in London), the Maison Jaoul-esque Crescent House, (the ‘missing link’ between Golden Lane and the Barbican), via the under-threat Bernard Morgan House (non-CPB) with its fantastic ceramic tiling before moving on to the Barbican itself.
Here we took a rare behind-the-scenes look at elements of the estate, including underground car parks and service areas before visiting the residents gardens and several flats – one containing all of the original features including the kitchen and bathroom, and another a refit containing faithful reproductions of many original features that had been studied from the original.
A fascinating day, proving that modern mass-produced items can actually be just as bespoke as durable as their older counterparts, and that post-war interiors can be sensitively adapted to suit modern requirements when given some thought and consideration…