This website contains profiles of Modernist buildings in Britain. Each profile contains a description and history of the building, photographs and a location information. The following list of sites are Modernist buildings are Wales. Click the building name or the "read more" link to view the building profile.
Clarence Place, Newport, Gwent, NP19 7AB
The former Odeon Cinema, located on Clarence Place in Newport, Gwent, is a remarkable, surviving building from the Odeon Cinema chain. The chain, started by Oscar Deutsch with its first cinema in Perry Barr in Birmingham owned in excess of 250 cinemas prior to the Second World War. Modernist architecture was almost exclusively used by Deutsch; only local planning constraints in particularly sensitive locations - such as historic Chester and York - restricted the design ambitions of Deutsch's architects.
Like many of the early Odeon cinemas the Odeon Newport was designed by the Weedon Partnership, with Arthur J Price assisting Harry Weedon in the execution of the design. Overall, the design bears a striking similarity to that of the Odeon at Sutton Coldfield, by Harry Weedon and Cecil Clavering. Again the design of the cinema was dominated by a central 'fin', although the 'Cinema' lettering at the top of the fin found at Sutton Coldfield was substituted with the Odeon name; perhaps the brand was considered sufficiently established enough that the name would speak for itself. In a departure from Sutton Coldfield, the fin featured projecting brick piers with horizontal, projecting brick bands.
To the left of the fin was a four-storey block with a tiled, faience frontage for the lower three storeys. The faience was placed in a 'basket-weave' style, providing some relief to the expanse of faience. Adjacent to the brick fin the windows feature a surround of black tiles, providing a horizontal emphasis to the frontage. To the left... Read more »
Tags: Cinema, Streamlined Moderne
The Esplanade, Penarth, Wales, CF64 3AU
Penarth Pier stands at the junction of Beach Road and The Esplanade in the Welsh seaside town, a couple of miles south of Cardiff. The original pier was designed by H F Edwards and construction began at the beginning of 1894, before its official opening on 4 February 1895.
The original pier was fairly simple in form, with a wider landward section, a narrow pier neck, a wider central section housing two shelter structures, and a further narrower section leading to a wider pier head. The pier had a pavilion at its head and two ornamental toll houses, with adjoining small shops, at the landward end.
In 1926 the owners of Penarth Pier set about making improvements to the structure. The first stage saw the construction of a concrete landing stage at the pier head, allowing steam ships to call at the pier for pleasure trips.
The original toll houses and shops were demolished and a much larger shore-end pavilion building was constructed from concrete. To allow the construction of the new pier pavilion the shore end was widened by the firm of Messrs MacDonald of Avergavenney, to incorporate a supporting concrete frame. The pavilion itself was built by Messrs E J Smith of Cardiff.
Designed by M F Edwards, the pavilion adopted the fashionable Art Deco style, with Mughal architectural influences. The most famous example of a building from the Mughal empire period is the Taj Mahal palace at Agra, India.
The form of the pavilion is of an elongated rectangular block extending along... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Pavilion, Pier
1-3 Stanwell Road, Penarth, CF64 2AD
Standing on Stanwell Road in Penarth, at its junction with Herbert Terrace, is the former Washington Cinema. The cinema was designed by the Welsh architect Harry Teather (1867-1956) for the Willmore Brothers. The brothers, from London, already owned a cinema in the town called the Windsor Kinema, which opened in 1914. The Washington cinema was named after a hotel that previously stood on the site and was marketed as a luxury cinema.
The design of the cinema is Modernist in style, with Art Deco style features and decoration. The cinema occupies a sloping corner site on Stanwell Road. The main block, incorporating the foyer, is a three storey block extending for three bays, with a smaller single bay wing to the left. The main block extends along Herbert Terrace for three bays, with the cinema's auditorium block extending for a further seven bays.
The main three bay block features a wider central bay and narrower outer bays. On the ground floor steps lead up to the cinema entrance. Either side of the entrance are small retail units while above is a projecting canopy. The first and second storeys have window bays with a decorative architrave, extending for both storeys, with a rectangular key stone. The windows are metal-framed Crittall-style windows, beneath which are panels with a decorative herringbone pattern. The second storey is surmounted by a pediment, with a ribbed moulding and a central acanthus leaf-style finial. The bays of the... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Cinema, Seaside