Trinity Court, London

  • 254 Grays Inn Road, London, WC1X 8JX
  • Designed by: F Taperell and Haase
  • Built: 1934 - 1935
  • Tags: Art Deco, Housing

At the approximate mid-point of Grays Inn Road in London, which runs from its junction with the Euston Road (near to Kings Cross Station) to High Holborn, stands Trinity Court. Constructed in the space between the old St Andrew's Holborn Burial Ground (dating from 1754) and Grays Inn Road, Trinity Court is an impressive Modernist-style residential apartment building.

Trinity Court was built between 1934 and 1935 to plans drawn up by the London-based architectural practice of F Taperell and Haase. Another example of their work is Heathview, on Gordon House Road in north London (near to Gospel Oak Overground station). Although somewhat wider than Trinity Court, the similarities between Heathview and Trinity Court are plain, particularly the bay windows treatment, the balconies and their railings, and the checkerboard pattern on the steps to the entrance.

Trinity Court stands out amongst the more traditional buildings on Grays Inn Road, not only in its style, but also in its stature, extending over nine storeys including a basement storey. The buildings is rectangular in plan, with its shorter sides parallel to Grays Inn Road. The front and rear elevations project slightly at each return, giving a Roman 'I' footprint to the building.

Built using a steel frame construction, and clad in white-painted render, with a distinctive blue colour to its window frames and railings, Trinity Court is an attractive building and important example of 1930s residential architecture.

At street level the main facade is five bays wide, with a central entrance with double doors featuring decorative tracery to their windows. Above, the entrance is surmounted with a stepped pediment carrying the building name. Each of the outer bays is formed of a bay window, extending into its inner bay to form a balcony. A door from the bay window opens out onto the balcony. Each storey of the central bay above the entrance has a tall window, with vertical striations between each window. The central bay is surmounted with another stepped pediment, which conceals the lift shaft from being visible at street level.

The bay windows, balcony windows and doors, and central bay windows are all metal framed windows, picked out in an attractive light blue window. The balconies have squat railings, with an ornamental design, which is replicated in taller railings on the roof of the building and at street level in front of the basement level.

The side elevations of Trinity Court extend over seven bays, with bays one, four and seven formed of bay windows, in the same style as the main facade. The remaining bays are deeply recessed into the building providing enclosed balconies. Each bay window bay has doors which alternately open out onto the enclosed balconies.

The rear elevation is identical to the main Grays Inn Road facade, save for a simpler entrance. At some point in the building's history a modern porch was added, however this is not in keeping with the building's design.

The external appearance of the building has been preserved and windows, balconies and railings all appear unaltered. Trinity Court does not appear on English Heritage's list.

This is an updated and revised building profile first published on 28 September 2010.

References

Posted by Richard Coltman on Saturday, March 11, 2017

A celebration of Modernist architecture in Britain