Tuesday, 12 December 2017

DECO and MODERNISM in Poirot.

 Florin Court is an Art Deco residential building situated on the eastern side of Charterhouse Square in Smithfield, London, England
Built in 1936 by Guy Morgan and Partners, it features an impressive curved façade, a roof garden and a basement swimming pool. It was probably the earliest of the residential apartment blocks in the Clerkenwell area. The walls have been built in beige bricks, specially made by Williamson Cliff Ltd (Stamford, Lincolnshire) and placed over a steel frame.
Regalian Proprieties refurbished the building in the 1980s, to designs by Hildebrand & Clicker architects, providing the actual interior flats shape and facilities.
The building became the fictional residence of Agatha Christie's Poirot, known as Whitehaven Mansions. In 2003, the building was declared a Grade II Listed Building.

The Midland Hotel 

The Midland Hotel is a Streamline Moderne building in Morecambe, Lancashire, England. It was built by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), in 1933, to the designs of architect Oliver Hill, with sculpture by Eric Gill. It is a Grade II listed building. The hotel has been restored by Urban Splash with architects Union North, Northwest Regional Development Agency and Lancaster City Council.
The hotel is designed in the Streamline Moderne style of Art Deco. Oliver Hill designed a three-storey curving building, with a central circular tower containing the entrance and a spiral staircase, and a circular cafe at the north end. The front of the hotel is decorated with two Art Deco seahorses, which can be viewed at close proximity from the hotel's rooftop terrace.
The hotel stands on the seafront with the convex side facing the sea, and the concave side facing the former Morecambe Promenade railway station – in homage to the railway company whose showcase hotel this was. Hill designed the hotel to complement the curve of the promenade, which allowed guests to view spectacular panoramas of the North West coast.

High and Over

 The century makers: 1929
Matthew Sturgis on one of Britain's first modernist buildings

Built on the chalk hillside overlooking Amersham, the curiously named High and Over is among the first handful of modernist buildings in Britain. It was designed - in 1929 - by the 28-year-old, New Zealand-born architect Amyas Connell. He drew on the recent ground-breaking work of the French architect, Le Corbusier, to create a novel variation on the English country house.
The client was Professor Brian Ashmole, then Yates Professor of Archaeology at the University of London, whom Connell had met three years previously in Rome - when Ashmole was director of the British School there and Connell was a Rome scholar.
Some critics have seen an influence of the Roman Baroque in High and Over's bold Y-shaped plan, and central spiral staircase. Almost everything else about the building was determinedly modern, from its cantilever reinforced concrete construction, to its stark whitewashed and crisply delineated horizontal windows. A very functional-looking modern water-tower was sited just above the house, with a fives court attached to it. Even the garden was originally laid out in a geometrical pattern.
Connell, however, for all his desire to experiment, was sensitive to the possibilities of the site. The numerous windows and spacious roof terrace took full account of the house's commanding position, providing the maximum of light and the finest of views, while the long, banded lines of the building were intended to echo the contours of the chalk hills above and around the house.
Spread over three floors, with five bedrooms, a large library, and a dining-room (connecting with the kitchen in one "arm" of the Y) it was a spacious abode, and not a cheap one. The estimated cost was £3,000.
Since its construction, the purity of the house has been slightly compromised by a few alterations. The piers between the windows were widened; during the 1970s some not very lovely houses were built in the once-extensive grounds; the water-tower was demolished, and much of the garden remodelled along less rigid lines. More recently, the house has been divided into two separate, self-contained properties. It is a fate that has befallen other - older and more conventional - country houses. And they make desirable homes. One of them (admittedly the one possessing the freehold - and swimming pool) was recently on the market for £750,000.
"The division certainly made good commercial sense," says local estate agent, John Nash. "If the house were still a single property, it would probably fetch only about £1 million. The two halves would add up to rather more than that.'
Money matters
A bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label Scotch whisky costs 12s 6d; a Viyella nightie from Affleck & Brown, Manchester, cost 17s 11d; a jar of Silver Shred marmalade is 7.5d; a bricklayer's labourer earns 54s 1d per week; the country's 86 immigration officers earn between £200 and £300 each per annum.
Key events
Wall Street Crash; Margaret Bondfield - as Minister of Labour - becomes Britain's first female Cabinet minister in Ramsay MacDonald's new administration; Al Capone's mobsters kill seven members of Bugsy Malone's rival gang in the St Valentine's Day Massacre; the first 'Best Picture' Oscar is awarded to Wings; the first Monaco Grand Prix is won by Britain's William Grover-Williams in a Bugatti.



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