Bonnin, Basevi

Width to Length: 1 to 1.6

Face to Face: 320’ x 520’ (97.5m x 155.4m)

Green: 202’ x 440’ (61.6m x 137.2m)

Height A (approximate): 50‘ (15.2m)

Height to Width Ratio: 1 to 6.4

Height to Length Ratio: 1 to 10.2

Thurloe Square

The Alexander Estate owned at one time approximately 370 acres in the vicinity of Brompton Road.  John Alexander began development of the estate in 1826 using the builder James Bonnin who was had begun the development of nearby Brompton Square, and initially they employed the architect George Godwin.  John Alexander’s son, Henry, took over at his father’s death in 1831, and Bonnin hired George Basevi to design Thurloe Square. Bonnin and Basevi worked together on some of the finest residential squares in the area, including the Egerton and Pelham Crescents.

The ample park in the center actually causes a disconnect between the dwellings on one side and on the other. The sense of neighborhood is lost to a great degree, particularly in the summer. The width between pedestrians on different sides is just beyond the point of recognition – if one could see through the dense vegetation. This issue of scale and separation is one of the most important reasons for paying particular attention to the smaller squares in the area which overcome this deficiency by the simple fact that they are smaller.

Thurloe looking from Victoria & Albert Museum

To some degree, the treatment of the buildings on the square is the precursor of the more refined treatment we see at nearby Onslow Square which began five years later than Thurloe. In 1857 the Victoria and Albert Museum opened just north of Thurloe Square. Unfortunately, the southwest corner of the square had to be demolished in 1867 to accommodate an underground railroad.

Thurloe Square architecture

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