The Royal Free Hospital – London
Construction: 1968 – 1974
Architect: Llewllyn-Davies, Weeks, Forestier-Walker and Bar
I was on my way to see Erno Goldfinger’s house in Hampstead on a scorching June afternoon when I stumbled upon this concrete behemoth. It was the first thing that I saw as I got off the bus and I immediately unsheathed my trusty camera.
A 16 floor cruciform block rises up in the centre of lower rise surrounding buildings. The windows and black external walls of the block seem to hang within an exoskeleton of classic grey concrete. Translucent external stairwells serve to break up the facade. The facility was state of the art when it opened in 1974 (although it wasn’t officially opened by the Queen until 1978, presumably she has a pretty busy schedule) and was one of the first designed using CAD1.
I only had chance to get a couple of shots from the Pond Street side, but the building certainly looks worthy of a more in depth study, and hopefully I’ll get chance to do that sometime soon.
1 http://www.emporis.com/building/royalfreehospital-london-unitedkingdom accessed 9/6/14