Colin arid Jennifer Jones were also in private practice and Jennifer they developed the concept at Fortis Green. Similar low-level blocks were repeated by the LCC in Maiden Road, Camden ; in Broadley Street, St Marylebone, and at other sites all over London.

Each flat is built on two levels, with living rooms at one floor and the bedrooms a floor higher or lower. In between the front and back rooms are the kitchen and the bathroom. The kitchen is always on the living room floor, and the bathroom is between floors, at the half stair level. Another flat with living room above and bedrooms below, fits round the first, with its bathroom occcupying the other half of the centre section. Thus the flats fit round each other like the two blades of a pair of scissors. The idea carne from the arrangement of the rooms in Victorian By-law houses, which have a passage and stairway which leads to a back addition at a different level from the front of the house. A return stair then leads to the first floor rooms. The architects imagined two of these houses fitted round each other and evolved this unusual arrangement.

The sectional perspective shows flats at six levels including the penthouse, yet there only three access corridors were needed. The four floors at Fortis Green need only two, a ground floor access and one corridor above. This is possible because in Scissors Flats one corridor serves two levels of flats. Two front doors, side by side, each lead to a small private entrance hall and a half flight of stairs, one to the flat above and the other to the flat below. This reduction of corridors saved a great deal of space so the flats could be made that much bigger for the same cost. Inside each flat there is another half flight which completes the movement to the rear rooms.

Housing in the 1960s by A. W. Cleeve Barr
Riba Journal April 1962
A sectional perspective of a block of Scissors Flats

175

 

Housing in the 1960s, by A.W.Cleave Barr.

Page 174
Page 176