List entry

List entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

Name: KENSINGTON CENTRAL LIBRARY INCLUDING ADJOINING PYLONS

List entry Number: 1119724

Location

KENSINGTON CENTRAL LIBRARY INCLUDING ADJOINING PYLONS, HORNTON STREET W8
KENSINGTON CENTRAL LIBRARY INCLUDING ADJOINING PYLONS, PHILLIMORE WALK W8

The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County District District Type Parish
Greater London AuthorityKensington and ChelseaLondon Borough

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 24-Apr-1998

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 469222

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

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Reasons for Designation

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History

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Details



TQ 2579 NW HORNTON STREET, W8 (west side) 249/30/10039 Kensington Central Library including adjoining pylons)

GV II*

Public library. 1958-60 by E Vincent Harris. Steel frame clad in hand-made brick, Bath and Portland stone. Tile roofs exposed as hips to ends. Rectangular plan of six bay centre with broad, projecting end pavilions. Two storeys with basements and attic, the ground floor housing the lending library and the first floor having the reference library; the eastern pavilion has the entrance and staircase, the western the children's and local studies collections. Portland stone base, cornice and parapet. All windows square headed and with small panes, those to first floor and to five-bay returns with architrave surrounds. The end pavilions are the most prominent part of the composition, with giant arched openings with stone surrounds and keystones. Main entrance in eastern pavilion surmounted with busts of Chaucer and Caxton. Phillimore Walk elevation with stone pylons surmounted respectively by Lion and Unicorn figures symbolic of the Royal status granted to the Borough of Kensington in 1941. These and bronze gilded figure 'Genius' in parapet by William McMillan.

Interior is particularly well-preserved. Entrance hall and children's area lined with Doulting stone, that by the entrance with long inscription to wisdom, and plaque to the library's opening by the Queen Mother on 13 July 1960. The rest of the ground floor lined with acoustic panels, with square piers, original bookcases of Ghana mahogany inlaid with brass, and terrazzo floors. Dog-leg stair with glass panels etched with 'K' emblem lead to more sumptously appointed reference library, whose walls and six pairs of columns are panelled in walnut, and which also retains original bookcases and fittings. Kensington Central Library is a remarkable and completely surviving example of Harris's post-war. work in the classical, 'neo Renaissance' idiom - as demanded by the council. It is the last of a long sequence of distinguished public buildings (beginning before the First World War) by the most distinguished specialist of the genre. (Official Architecture and Planning, London, 506-9)



Listing NGR: TQ2542279598

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details

National Grid Reference: TQ 25422 79598

Map


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This copy shows the entry on 02-Sep-2014 at 10:23:53.