Eaton Place, 25 m of street between main façades

Eaton Place, 25 m of street between main façades

Belgravia is a district of London, southwest from Buckingham palace. As in most parts of the West End, it is an area developed by a family development corporation, with long term leases at the end of which the real estate good reverted to its original owner, here the Grosvernor Group. It is a space associated to the richest in London. And it shows, as many other in the West End, a particular street design in which the lot line courtyards are an essential feature.

There are no retail venues on the street, just mansions that follow a common architeral model. The intimacy of the ground floor comes from the setback from the street allowed by the courtyard that brings light and air to the service spaces underground (this is where “Upstairs, Downstairs”, the BBC series, was staged).

Today many of the original houses have been transformed in apartments, and others have become offices for businesses lucrative enough to pay the rent… no trees in sight, and wide, but not too much, sidewalks; it is not a street in which to live, interact or chat, rather an exhibition and connection space. The on-street parking is completed by the backyard mews, discretely closed by some parking doors.

The architectural quality of the buildings is good, but depends mainly on the serial effect. The architectural difference with some social housing projects in peripheral areas, which are not as well in socio-economic terms, is rather quality (as well for the dimension of elements as for building materials) and maintenance, than the project itself (and I do not dislike the area)

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