012/100 – Arcade House, Finchley Road

Arcade House, Finchley Road - A.J. Penty for Parker and Unwin, 1909
Arcade House, Finchley Road – A.J. Penty for Parker and Unwin, 1909

No one approaching [Hampstead Garden Suburb] from Temple Fortune would fail to notice the amazing grace of Arcade House (1909) and Temple Fortune House (1911), the two great terraces of shops and flats designed by A.J. Penty while working in the Hampstead office of Parker and Unwin.

The words of Miller & Gray in their 1992 book, Hampstead Garden Suburb.

These twin buildings (Temple Fortune House can just be discerned to the far left of the image above, and will feature in a future post) present a gateway to the Suburb from Finchley Road which is not far short of awe-inspiring.

They carry the idea of the Suburb as something of a gated community or walled medieval town beautifully. The soaring chimneys and twin overhanging half-hipped gables stand guard like sentries, and there are a multitude of finer details to delight and intrigue.

Delicate balconies appear as though suspended on thin metalwork; the run of shops at ground level are bounded by covered sections of stone piers; and the use of mock timber-framing on the upper level gives the whole arcade the appearance of something rather older.

Arcade House is grade II listed.

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