Park Court, Sydenham SE26

Park Court
Sydenham SE26
Modernist 1930s private development
Architect: Frederick Gibberd
Year Built: 1930s

After thinking about moving to Crystal Palace for a while but doing very little about it, I have finally put my flat on the market and have begun hunting for a modernist flat in the Crystal Palace area in earnest.

One of my top choices is Park Court, an elegant modernist development in Sydenham, just to the east of Crystal Palace Park. Designed in the 1930s by Frederik Gibberd (best known for the beautiful Pullman Court in Streatham), the development is made up of seven low rise blocks surrounded by perfectly manicured communal gardens. The flats originally had an elegant (and quintessentially modernist) flat-roofed design but this was slightly marred by the addition of a layer of “Mansard” flats at the top of the buildings in the 1980s.

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I have fantasised about living in Park Court ever since I saw this particularly attractive example of a flat in the block on Rightmove last year. This flat was on the second floor, forming part of the original development and appeared to have most of the original 1930s features intact including the original cornicing, dividing archway between living and dining areas and that beautiful pillar.

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Unfortunately, the flat that I ended up viewing did not live up to the fantasy. Being on the ground floor, it was oppressively dark, not helped by the fact that the existing occupant appeared to be a hoarder. Unlike the airy, whitewashed fantasy flat (which in fairness had probably been misleadingly photographed), this ground floor flat also felt quite cramped.

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One unappealing flat hasn’t been put off the development entirely, however. The communal hallways and grounds seemed pretty charming and the surrounding area was nice and leafy.

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Flats in the development rarely become available but if one that looks like the fantasy flat pops up for sale (on the second floor please), I will be making an offer.

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