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World's End Estate Kensington & Chelsea

Summary

The World's End Estate was designed for the Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea by Eric Lyons, who sought to move away from the blandness of many high-rise estates in his use of a distinctive many-sided design and exposed decorative brickwork. The estate is effectively a single building, since its 7 tower blocks are connected with 9 low-rise walkway blocks in a figure of 8 formation around two internal courtyards laid out as gardens. The gardens are actually at first floor level since they are directly above car parking below. On the south side of the estate is additional green space, part of which is now an allotment garden tended by residents. Most of the residents have fine views over west London.

Basic Details

Site location:
King's Road/ Blantyre Street/Cremorne Road/Cheyne Walk, Chelsea

Postcode:
SW10 0DS ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Housing/Estate Landscaping

Date(s):
1969-77

Designer(s):
Eric Lyons

Listed structures:
None

Borough:
Kensington & Chelsea

Site ownership:
RB Kensington & Chelsea

Site management:
Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation Limited; World's End Residents Association

Open to public?
Partially

Opening times:
Has opened for Open House London

Special conditions:

Facilities:
Has opened for Open House London

Events:

Public transport:
Tube: Sloane Square (District, Circle) then bus.

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/10/2017
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.worlds-end.org.uk

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ265773 (526585,177391)

Size in hectares:
c.4.45

Green Flag:
No

On EH National Register :
No

EH grade:
None

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
No

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
No

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
No

In Conservation Area:
No

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
No

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:
Yes - Archaeology Priority Area (Chelsea Riverside)

Other LA designation:
Article 4 Direction; Thames Special Policy Area

World's End Estate

World's End Estate, 2017. Photograph Sally Williams

Click photo to enlarge.

Fuller information

The World's End Estate is built on an area previously occupied by low-rise Victorian housing, which was demolished in 1968. The new estate was commissioned by the Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea in 1963, but Eric Lyons' original design wasn't accepted, since it exceeded the LCC's housing density limits at the time. Following a public enquiry, a design providing 750 units of council housing was approved in December 1966, and work began in 1968. The new estate was completed in April 1977, by which time the first tenants had moved in.

The estate is designed as a figure of 8 with 7 tower blocks linked by 9 low-rise walkway blocks with two internal courtyards, laid out as gardens. Various community facilities were built at the same time as the estate in a similar style, including what is now the Chelsea Theatre, which started life as the community centre, Ashburnham Primary School and Omega House with a supermarket on the ground floor. St John's Church pre-dated the estate. Although various changes have been made to the estate the core design remains.

World's End Residents Association was set up by the residents to represent the views and interests of all residents when dealing with the Council, its agents and their contractors, and to ensure that residents were consulted on estate matters. WERA aims 'to foster a wider sense of community and cooperation amongst all of the estate's residents and aims to ensure that all of the estate's varied communities are properly represented and are able to participate in its activities'.

Sources consulted:

Introduction and History sheet produced for Open House London 2017. See also https://municipaldreams.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/the-worlds-end-estate-chelsea-village-style-living-in-the-heart-of-london/

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