Churchill Gardens, Pimlico

Powell & Moya, London, 1954


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The heat accumulator tower 

Galwey, Arphot     Download Original

  • The heat accumulator tower    
  • View from the south-west corner    
  • The east facade    
  • East elevation of a ten-storey block    
  • The pump house and workshop are grouped round the sunken garden    
  • Two of the staircase bays in the east facade    
  • The staircase bays project out from the east facade    
  • The west elevation looking north    
  • The west elevation    
  • View of the east facade from the adjacent block    
  • View of the Sullivan House block    
  • Chaucer House block and the heat-accumulator tower seen from across the Thames    
  • The east wall of the pump house    
  • The pump house illuminated at night    
  • View through pump house to flat block beyond    
  • View up the corner of the pump house    
  • Staircase and balustrade    
  • Interior of a typical kitchen    
  • Entrance door and walkway to flat    
  • Connecting link building between workshop and pump house    
  • Site plan    
  • Site plan montage    
  • Site plan of pump house    
  • Ground floor plan of a 10-storey block    
  • Typical floor plan of a 10-storey block    
  • 8th floor plan    
  • Typical flat floor plan    
  • Typical floor plan of 3-storey block    
  • Typical floor plans of  a terrace house    
  • East elevation    
  • Staircase elevation and plan    
  • Cut through section showing heating and hot water system    
  • Section showing district heating system    
  • Detailed section through wall    

Thirty acre housing estate situated on the north bank of the Thames

The estate was developed between 1946 and 1962 under the Abercrombie Plan, replacing Victorian terraces houses damaged during the Blitz.

Comprising 1,600 homes in 32 blocks, the estate is a pioneering example of mixed development, acting as a model for many subsequent public housing projects. Tall slabs of between nine and eleven storeys are enclosed by seven storey blocks and interspersed with maisonettes and terraces.

Construction is in reinforced concrete with transverse spine walls and slab floors. Walls are lined with wood wool slab insulation and the external facades are clad in yellow flint lime brick. The heat accumulator tower consists of an outer casing of rolled steel prefabricated panels enclosed in a casing of rough cast glass in aluminum frames.

The estate is notable for its early and rare example of district heating in the UK. A glass-faced accumulator tower collected the CHP by-product heat in hot water from the now-disused Battersea Power Station, providing heat and hot water throughout the estate. The tower is no longer in use, but still stands as the estate's most prominent feature.

Churchill Gardens was designated a conservation area in 1990, and in 1998 six blocks and the Accumulator Tower were Grade II listed.


  • Begun: 1946
  • Completed: 1954
  • Sector: Residential
  • Funding: Westminster City Council
  • Address: Churchill Gardens, Pimlico, London, SW1V 3LG, United Kingdom

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