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© Mrs Angela Clark LRPS

IoE Number: 472020
Location: BROOKE HOUSE, 1-84 TOWN SQUARE
  BASILDON, BASILDON, ESSEX
Photographer: Mrs Angela Clark LRPS
Date Photographed: 06 June 2004
Date listed: 22 December 1998
Date of last amendment: 22 December 1998
Grade II

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TQ 78 NW BASILDON TOWN SQUARE 717/6/10010 Nos.1-84 (Consecutive) Brooke House GV II Tower block of 14 storey flats, 1960-62, Architect Anthony B Davies, chief architect and planner to Basildon Development Corporation. Sir Basil Spence, consultant adviser on town centre; Ove Arup and Partners, structural engineers. Concrete, with dark brown handmade brick cladding and alulmnium glazed screens and windows. Rectangular plan, with 6 flats on each floor, with central access corridor and staircases at each end of building, recessed rectangular entrance on ground floor. Block raised 8m above ground on 8 'V'-shaped fairfaced reinforced concrete pilotis, supporting flat reinforced concrete floor slab at base of flats; reinforced concrete structural cores and main crosswalls, hollow tile and reinforced concrete floors and flat hollow tile and reinforced concrete roof, reinforced concrete rooftop pergola. The visually reticent entrance, a glazed box with aluminium framing is recessed beneath the north side of the building. The main block has a uniform brown brick cladding, rising sheer on the north and south ends of the building to either side of the full height recessed glazed staircases. The principal east and west facades are identically treated with flat, low brown brick spandrels, above which are set aluminium-framed windows with a shallow 'V' plan, repeated across the width of the block. Some interiors retain wood panelling to living rooms. To north, fully glazed staircase between ground and lower ground floor with separate entrance houses fire escape stair. Lower ground reached via stairs and ramps incorporated into dark red-brown brick retaining wall to north. To east, steps leading down to East Square are a part of Daviesls composition, as is a ramp enclosed by cobbled retaining walls. Brooke House was designed to introduce high density residential accommodation into Basildon town centre, and visually to provide a dominant vertical landmark to counterbalance the predominantly horizontal emphasis of the surrounding shops: The bold and subtly profiled pilotis, together with the siting of the block forward of the adjacent building line to the west, and facing the sunken square to the east, gives a significant townscape role to the building. Brooke House was named after the then Minister of Housing and Local Government, Henry Brooke MP. Part of a group with Raised Pool and Sculpture in Town Square (qv) and retaining walls, ramps, steps, staircases, bench and raised paving in East Square (qv). {Architectural Review: Browne K: A new look at Basildbn Town Centre, November 1962: 332- 335; Planning for Man and Motor, London: Ritter P: Basildon New Town Main Centre: Pergamon Press: 1964-: 221; Architects Journal: Shops and flats at Basildon, 10 December 1962: 1962-: 1381- 9; Architect and Building News, 13 February 1963: Tower block, Basildon: 1963-: 239-43).

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