What Is A Scissor Section Flat?

What Is A Scissor Section Flat?

What Is A Scissor Section Flat?

A scissor-section flat is an apartment building developed in the 1950s by London County Council Architects Department. It is characterized by its corner balconies and alternate roof planes, creating an ‘X’ shape when viewed from above.

The elevations of each floor level have asymmetrical features with alternately offset balconies, which produces a dramatic shift in the look and feel of the façade across multiple storeys.

The interior design of these flats also incorporates unique features such as extra space for storage along each side wall and allowing for larger windows to provide better views from every room.

Additionally, scissor-section flats are more thermally efficient than traditional housing construction due to their layout, providing tenants with greater comfort and lower energy bills.

History Of Scissor Section Flat

The Scissor Section Flat was developed by David Gregory-Jones and his team at LCC Architects department in 1956-57, with details of its design approach published in a technical article in 1962.

It quickly gained popularity due to being used on the riverside towers of the Pepys Estate in Deptford, as well as a number of council housing schemes across London during the 1960s and early 1970s like Maydew House, Kelson House and Perronet House.

Aside from London, some similar designs for council tower blocks are also found in other cities throughout England. This is a testament to the high level of craftsmanship and quality that went into designing this type of flat.

Who Invented The Scissor Staircase?

The scissor staircase was invented by David Gregory-Jones and his team at the LCC Architects department in 1956-57. An article in 1962 detailed their design approach, allowing architects to incorporate the structures into different designs confidently.

The design gives flexibility to move in multiple directions, maximizing available space and providing an eye-catching feature for any stairwell. Scissor staircases are now commonly found in homes and offices worldwide, thanks to the work of Gregory-Jones and his team.

What Are The Scissor Section Flat Advantages?

Scissor section flats offer a range of advantages to developers and occupants, such as maximizing the space given to flats in any building, reducing the space needed for entrance corridors, and providing a dual aspect for each dwelling.

By interlocking two apartments on each level, square footage can be achieved than would be possible with traditional one-story apartments. This allows for larger living areas, increased storage, and sometimes secondary bedrooms or home office spaces.

Additionally, since the flats face opposing directions, occupants benefit from natural light entering their flats from both sides throughout the day, creating a bright and airy environment.

Criticism Of Scissor Section Flat

Critics of the scissor-section flat have claimed that its complex design leads to a more expensive and complicated construction process compared to other housing styles, while architects have stated that it fails to meet modern building regulations around accessibility due to its frequent use of stairs and half-storey layout.

Additionally, emergency services have noted that navigating the unique layouts within a single building can be confusing and this confusion has been identified as a contributing factor in the death of two firemen in a Southampton scissor-section flat in 2010.

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