William & Edward Hunt in Wandsworth, London SW18

Above: “Wandsworth Town Hall: Bas relief frieze depicting events in Wandsworth’s history by David Evans and John Linehan.” (Historic England) https://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib4_1251808781

From the Historic England entry:

“Edward Arthur Hunt (1877-1963) was a British architect, based in London. He was the son of fellow architect William Hunt, and they were to form the architectural practice William & Edward Hunt.

William and Edward Hunt’s architectural practice was principally in town houses and commercial premises in London’s West End. After the First World War, the practice built Brettenham House, a large office block in Art Deco style, on the north-western approach to Waterloo Bridge…

…and Wandsworth Town Hall (see below).

William Hunt was mayor of Wandsworth in 1902-3, which perhaps recommended his practice to the councillors commissioning the town hall in the mid-1930s, and may also explain the firm’s designing of these cottages (image below) on the fringes of Wandsworth Town. They were commissioned by a James L Purdy and would have originally housed working families.

“Flats, designed as a row of four cottages, Arts and Crafts-style, and laundry, 1906 by William Hunt; the design is likely to have been the work of his son and partner Edward A Hunt (1877-1963). Minor later alterations, including the subdivision of one of the flats into two. Nos. 155-171 Oakhill Road, including the former laundry building to the rear, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Architectural quality: a sophisticated design which shows the influence of the emerging LCC cottage estates and of the experiments at Letchworth Garden City in the Edwardian period * Authorship: by Edward A Hunt, who went on to design Wandsworth’s town hall in the 1930s, and whose father was also a prominent local architect and politician * Historic interest: built in the tradition of ‘model housing’ and evidencing progressive ideas in the inclusion of a commercial laundry to the rear of the cottages.” (Historic England)
“The carriage arch has a timber lintel with timber posts and braces, resting on tiled imposts and an iron gate. It leads to a rear yard and a detached two-storey laundry building with brick walls (rendered white on its south face), timber casement windows (in rows to the south and in a mullion-and-transom arrangement to the north), a pitched roof with splayed eaves, and a brick chimney stack. Inside, the exposed roof structure has curved timber braces with metal tie-beams; the windows have timber lintels; and there is a surviving original vertical-panelled door. The laundry building to the rear of the cottages was a commercial premises rather than for the domestic use of the tenants. The post office street directory for 1908 lists No. 155 Oakhill Road as ‘Mrs Sophia Corke, laundry’. On the original plans, the downstairs rooms are allocated for sorting and packing, for washing, and as the manager’s office; presumably the upstairs was for drying, pressing and folding. In the C19 and early C20, Wandsworth was the home of many commercial laundries, which served the homes and hotels of the growing metropolis.” (Historic England) https://www.flickr.com/photos/maggiejones/6105916095

Wandsworth Town Hall. 1935-7 by Edward A Hunt. Included as an unusually lavish and well-planned town hall, surviving in excellent condition. Portland stone and brick, hipped pantiled roof. Triangular plan adapted to busy corner site,

with central forecourt leading to main entrance

…and projecting first-floor council chamber to rear. Three storeys. Exterior with banded rustication to ground floor, tripartite metal windows in unmoulded surrounds, deep eaves and moulded cornice adorned with incised bands and decorative bands incorporating capitals to orders implied in the vertical bands of stonework below.

Fifteen-bay front to Wandsworth High Street culminates in three-bay projecting wing with two-storey round-arched staircase window under stepped architrave and fluted cornice.

Canted five bay cornerpiece surmounted by finial leads eye to fifteen-bay return to Fairfield Street with projecting three-bay terminal block. Similar canted block with finial the other side of recessed entrance front of seven bays, with carriage opening under Vitruvian scroll band with central coat of arms.

Elaborate cast-iron railings with rosette decoration on stone plinth, with piers topped by sarcophagal urns and double gates form part of the composition.

Inner courtyard with Portland stone centrepiece fronting principal members’ rooms, over entrance double doors.

These lead to marble-lined hall with hexagonal coffering and round pendant lightfittings, from which imperial stair with bronze balustrades rise to upper hall, under square piers with well and walls lined in African onyx and with pendant glass chandelier. Committee rooms overlooking forecourt, offices for Leader of the Council and the Opposition either side: all with English oak panelling, moulded cornices and ceilings and pink art-deco glass hanging light fittings. Mayoral parlour with panelling, cornice mouldings, bolection-mould fireplace with tiled surrounds and grate, and tapestry overmantle; linked via internal door to panelled office of Town Clerk.

Council chamber projects at rear of site, flat-floored with separate, raised gallery for press and public. Canted six-sided chamber, with diagonal-paned top lights; oak panelling with acoustic plaster and fabric hangings over. Full suite of councillors’ furniture and elaborate chandelier. The corridors and many subsidiary rooms also panelled in English oak with moulded plaster ceilings.”

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