Edith Avenue

Napper, Errington, Collerton, Barnett & Allott

Edith Avenue in unusual is many ways. The new housing would predate Washingtons designation as a New Town by nearly six years. The design is based on Napper, Errington and Collertons second prize scheme for the competition at Lillington Gardens, London (design and built by Darbourne & Darke). Unlike the inner London borough of Vauxhall, Washington was a declining mining town so the distinctly urban approach of Edith Avenue probably came as a surprise to the low-rise surroundings of Washington residents.

Completed in 1961, the three to five storey concrete framed and brick clad estate came with a new typology of wide external deck access arrangement. The spaces inbetween took the form of sunken garages and large concrete courtyards described by Pevsner as ‘unpleasant and awkwardly formal concrete spaces’ (yet praised in the competition by Skylon and Churchill Gardens architect Phillip Powell). The housing was and is alien to the distinct suburbia of Washington New Town. Indeed, future housing phases by Nappers a
few years later on Sulgrave and Malborough Road led Nappers back to more conventional two storey terraced housing.

Image 1-3 copyright of Napper Architects
Images 4-5 copyright of Sheffield Hallam University, photographer Peter Fawcett
Image 6 source unknown