Thursday, 23 April 2015

Thomas Simpson plaque unveiled.

The City Mayor, Cr.Brian Fitch, unveiling the plaque today at the Connaught School, Hove

Brighton & Hove's own architectural hero, working from two rooms in his family home in Ship Street, designed 17 of the City's Victorian Board schools 13 of which are still providing sterling service and 5 are Grade II listed. He concurrently raised 7 children, played the piano and the organ in the local chapel. Two of his sons also became architects including the world-famous Sir John Simpson, designer of Roedean. He also trained the architects Clayton & Black who were an important influence in Brighton's architecture from 1900 onwards.

Direct descendant Melanie Simpson, left. watches her mother Elsa cutting the celebratory cake. Ninka Willcock, Simpson historian, is on Elsa's right. Extreme right, Roger Amerena, Heritage Commissioner. 
The plaque was the initiative of the Brighton Society who launched a successful public appeal last year. Donations were received from the Regency Society, Hove Civic Society & The Brighton & Hove Heritage Commission. The Commemorative Plaque Panel provided advice and administrative support.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Cobblestone walls

In Little East Street.
In Brighton many cobblestone walls were traditionally tarred black, probably to waterproof the mortar to some extent; and, with quoins picked out in white or cream, the overall effect is charming.

Mighell Street Farmhouse
Occasionally cobbles and quoins are left bare. Perhaps this occurs in more expensive properties where the work has been carried out to a higher standard.
In either case the sense of architectural heritage is aesthetically manifested.

However the modern expedient of painting over cobbles and quoins with one colour has the quite opposite effect.
In Church Street.
In East Street.
The overall result is to make the frontage look shabby and the perpetrators seemingly ashamed of its history.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Valley Gardens landscaping

Application BH2015/00491, submitted by the Council, has some helpful visualisations of the hard and soft landscaping works planned for Victoria Gardens, north and south, and the grounds of St. Peters Church.

Public square with fountain to the south of St. Peter's.
(car park relocated to the north of the church)
Looking north west towards the King & Queen showing footpaths, cycle paths, stream and new plantings. 
Looking north-west across south garden towards the Art College.
Looking south-east across Church Street showing bus parkway

North of St. Peter's looking south-west towards York Place
Looking north across St.George's Place
Target decision date is the 29th June. One hopes the forthcoming elections won't put a spanner in the works . . .

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Hove Seaside Villas revisited

July 2011
April 2015
No.1 'Millionaires Row', originally the home of the developer Michael Puget Baxter and his wife, has undergone an extensive renovation over the last few years transforming it into a state-of-the-art modern, luxury home. Unfortunately, in the process, it has lost the quirky, castellated roof-line which so instantly signalled its Edwardian origins. Apparently this was on the advice of a planning officer to the architects*. As a result of this the owner now has a building indistinguishable, except for its location, from any of hundreds of other modern houses up and down the country.

Castellations, visible from Kingsway, still remain on the westernmost villas
No.4, also much modified, has recently come on the market for £4M. See Argus report.

*Conran & Partner