Finsbury Estate, London

Emberton, Franck & Tardew
Date Built
St John's Street & Skinner Street
The Finsbury Estate occupies a site defined by St John's Street, Skinner Street, Myddelton Street and Gloucester Way in Islington.  It comprises four purpose-built blocks of flats that provide 451 residences. Patrick Coman House and Michael Cliffe House are high-rise blocks of 9 and 25 storeys respectively, while Joseph Trotter House and Charles Townsend House are of four storeys.  The estate was designed by Emberton, Franck & Tardrew in 1965 for Finsbury Borough Council although by the time it was completed Finsbury had been absorbed into the new Metropolitan Borough of Islington.

Below Joseph Trotter Close

Below Michael Cliffe House

Below Charles Townsend House

Below Patrick Coman House.

The website explains that, "... The Finsbury Estate's taller blocks use load-bearing end walls and solid floor slabs stiffened by structural columns rather than cross walls; staircases and lifts double as loadbearing cores. The four-storey blocks are of load-bearing brick construction on the same principle. All components, save the floor slabs which were cast in situ, were built up from prefabricated sections. The absence of cross walls allowed light internal partitions that could be moved, allowing the layout and size of flats to be altered. The grids of the frame were externally expressed, with pebble-dash wall panels and fluted precast-concrete balcony fronts, producing an effect that has its aesthetic origins in the chequerboard designs for Spa Green, with which Franck had been involved, and which influenced his earlier towers east of Goswell Road. Michael Cliffe House and Patrick Coman House have pilotis and open centres at ground level, characteristic of the wider group, the former with a curved canopy that has a red mosaic soffit. The shaped roofscape is another echo of Spa Green, but here not for drying areas; a large boiler house stands atop the tower. Materials and elevational treatment aside, colour schemes throughout the estate were designed to match those of the sister estates."

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