1836 – 1847
Elizabeth Manners, Edward Cresy, Wyatt, Tombs
Length Closure Ratio (B): 1 to 7.3
Width Closure Ratio (B): 1 to 2.4
Green: 54 ft. x 320 ft. (16.5 x 97.5 m)
Ratio Width to Length (Face to Face): 1:3
Face to Face: Width: 137 ft. (41.8 m)
Face to Face: Length: 415 ft. (126.5 m)
Height A: 53 ft. (16.2 m)
Height B: 57 ft. (17.4 m)
Rutland Gate is a somewhat strange assemblage of two connected and elongated squares immediately south of Hyde Park. The development of the assemblage spanned many decades and involved a series of players. From a design point of view, the significant traffic across the northern end erodes any sense of tranquility. Further, the northern section of green is only 41 feet in width and poorly maintained. The eastern range for the northern half has been redeveloped with seven story blocks which are much too high for the narrow void. Mid-block, the asphalt roadway section should have been broken up with small circles of green or some other modification.
The unfortunate seven story brick Ersbey House at the knuckle could have been much better with just a few changes – mainly surface materials and a better handling of the cornice and balcony elements, but the vertical scale is absolutely approaching the maximum that could be tolerated. One of the residents offered that he thought the older section too high itself. Generally, at this distance apart (approximately 137 feet), one story less would have felt more humane. The narrowness on a north/south view makes the square dark during much of the day. Enismore Gardens doesn’t have that problem.
The green of the lower section is close to that of Chester Square. Lovely tall sycamores grace the 54 foot wide park. The contemporary addition at the southern terminus kills any sense of closure – it reminds one of a decaying front tooth!
The square is intact on both the east and west ranges of the southern section, and is quite unique as a complete ensemble. The railings on teh south were removed during World War II and have not yet been replaced.
One last comment: Imagine if the stick-out of Number 3 Rutland Gate occurred on all the buildings. It would be too much.