The chief executive of Grounded - an architect, developer and planner by background - picks Lutyens’ only social housing project as her Wonder

Wonder: Page Street, Westminster

Architect: Edwin Lutyens

Nominator: Chloe Phelps

Chloe Phelps portrait

Sir Edwin Lutyens’ Page Street housing is one of those rare treasures that gives you something different every time you visit. When I’m nearby I’ll always make a deliberate detour to have a meander through. It was Lutyens’ only social housing project, and it sits at a magic moment in time capturing both classical pavilion lodges at the entrances to the courtyards and clean modernist lines to the walkways.

The external elevations of the blocks are breathtakingly bold and simple with three components; brick panels, rendered panels and double hung sash windows. No set backs, no real roof line articulation, just conviction in the architectural approach.


The U-shaped courtyards, open to the southern sides, are a real refuge from the city. The ground-floor flats have planters and clothes drying on their door steps. The spaces in between the blocks are contrastingly very austere. No doubt they would benefit from being gifted to the residents for private gardens. Maybe Lutyens would have got that right on his second scheme…