Berkeley Court - Glentworth Street, London, UK

W E Masters
Date Built
circa 1931
Glentworth Street & Marylebone Street
Berkeley Court describes itself as, "a highly regarded purpose built block occupying an entire city block and boundered by Baker Street to the East, Marylebone Road to the South, Glentworth Street to the West and Melcombe Street to the North."  It features an internal driveway and luxurious extrance lobby and on the roof there is a 1.5 acre roof garden, reputed to be the largest residential roof garden in Europe.  The block contains what are described as "family-sized" flats, since they seem to fall into two categories either 4 or 6 bedrooms. 

The building featured in "The Architect & Building News" on March 20th, 1931.  The article describes it as having, "... the advantage of a very fine rectangular site.  .... The entrance is a novel and very desirable feature.  A simple and well designed covered semi-circular drive within the building permits vehicles to set down passengers at the entrance doors, thus obviating the necessity of suffering such discomforts as crossing the pavement in the rain."

The article also applauds the fact that there is a separate entrance for tradesmen's vehicles avoiding the difficulty of them loitering on the street and creating traffic problems.  "On plan these two driveways seem somewhat extravagant in space, but on seeing the site one feels that the space would be difficult to use advantageously for other purposes and any possible loss of revenue is offset by the increase comfort to tenants."

"The covered passenger entrance drive delivers into an immense lounge (115ft by 72ft), the usefulness and advantages of which it is a little hard to see. ... At the corners of this lounge are placed four staircases, round each of which are grouped four flats, making 16 flats in all, on each floor ...... the passenger lifts are placed in the wells of these staircases."

The typical floor plan has the same unit arrangement around each of the four staircases.  The unit contains four flats, each different, and varying significantly in size with the largest featuring 6 bedrooms , three reception rooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen and a bedroom and bathroom for the maid.

The building has retail units at street level and on the corner of Baker Street and the Marylebone Road is a branch of Lloyds Bank.  This bank branch came to prominence in September of 1971 when a gang of thieves rented a shop 2 doors along on the Baker Street side of the building.  From here they constructed a tunnel that gave them access to the bank.  According to an article on the "" website,  "... The gang escaped from the crime scene taking over £3,000,000 of assorted swag that would be worth around £36,000,000 at current values." and whilst the robbers were eventually arrested, "... Not a single item of stolen property from the Baker Street robbery has ever been recovered."

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