Hallfield Estate

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For the council estate in Wetherby, West Yorkshire, see Hallfield.

Coordinates: 51°30′56.55″N 0°11′7.5″W / 51.5157083°N 0.185417°W / 51.5157083; -0.185417

Hallfield in 2003

The Hallfield Estate, owned by Westminster City Council, is one of several modernist housing projects in London designed in the immediate post-war period by the Tecton architecture practice, led by Berthold Lubetkin. Following the dissolution of Tecton, the project was realised by Denys Lasdun and Lindsay Drake in the 1950s. Construction took place in two phases during 1951-55 and 1955-58.

The estate is at grid reference TQ260812, south of the Bishops Bridge Road in Bayswater. It comprises 15 blocks spread over roughly 17 acres (69,000 m2), a laundry (now used as the local Estate Office), and the Hallfield School, also by Lasdun. Architecturally, the design shares much with similar Tecton projects of the period, including the Priory Green and Spa Green Estates, and the Finsbury Health Centre.

Hallfield was designated a conservation area by Westminster City Council in 1990, and the majority of Estate buildings were listed Grade II in June 2011.

John Penrose, the Minister responsible for the 2011 listing, commented: "These blocks show real flair and beauty, and all the more so considering the post-war era in which they were conceived. Sixty years on, they have become a distinctive part of the London landscape, still looking good and remaining popular with residents and visitors alike".

Hannah Parham, the English Heritage Designation Advisor, responded to the 2011 listing decision by adding: “The estate presents a convincing riposte to criticism that post-war council housing is grey, drab and utilitarian. At Hallfield, the exteriors of each block are treated like works of abstract art - some are patterned with a chequerboard of blue and red brickwork; others have a zigzagging screen of white concrete panels. The estate now exists amongst an elite group of 16 listed post war housing estates estate in London – estates that are successful as places to live and are cared for by their residents”.

City West Homes controversy[edit]

In 2010, a £10 million pound project [1] managed by CityWest Homes[2] - Westminster Councils Arms-length management organisation - commenced to refurbish the building.

The refurbishment included the replacement of its 50 year old windows, due to the fact that they did not meet the Governments Decent Homes Standard, which requires that windows in blocks over 6 stories, should be replaced after 30 years.[3]

However, during 2012 and early in 2013 a number of issues began to appear in the project.[4] Commenting on the issues, Hallfield resident Edward Newnham, said it's "[...]blind leading the blind. It’s just a mockery".[5] Another resident Mr. James Killeen, said: “[...] The problem is with CityWest Homes. They were the managers of the thing and they should have been clearer.[6]

On 30 December 2013, after reading a confidential report written by CityWest Homes chief executive officer Nick Barton,[7] Westminster City Council and contractor Essex based Mulalley[8] reached a compromise agreement to end a contract.[9]

One of the outcome of the controversy, is that the leaseholders on the Hallfield estate are considering taking legal action against CityWest Homes.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Westend Extra. "City Hall’s scrapping of £10m estate refurbishment ‘a mockery". Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  2. ^ City West Homes. "West area major works". Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Department for Communities & Local Governement. "A Decent Home: Definition and guidance for implementation". Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Labour Westmister. "Hallfield Estate fiasco". Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Westend Extra. "Scrapping of £10m estate refurbishment ‘a mockery’". Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Westend extra. "10m estate project". Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Westend extra. "City West Homes Report". Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Construction News. "Westminster terminates Mulalley Hallfield refurb deal". Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Inside Housing. "Hallfield estate refurbishment contract terminated". Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  10. ^ WestEnd extra. "Hallfield leaseholders may take legal action against CityWest Homes". Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  • John Allan & Morley von Sternberg, Berthold Lubetkin (Merrell, 2002)
  • John Allan, Lubetkin: Architecture and the Tradition of Progress (RIBA 1992)

External links[edit]