It is H-shaped in plan with two-storey side wings and a single-storey entrance hall. The wings of the H are made out of what was then a fairly revolutionary technique of framed glass panels and the entrance hall is a great curving wall of glass blocks which you can't see through but which give an impressive reflection of the surrounding area.
Inside there is this wonderful atmosphere of light, the ground floor entrance hall is very spacious and when you get into one of the wings you find yourself in a corridor that tapers the further along you go. So immediately you feel you are in a special place. You feel 'someone's really thought about this'.
There are not many buildings from the Thirties that give me a real lift, but this is one of them: it reminds me of the challenge of modernism. The plan is extremely flexible; it's a beautiful building that's human-scaled and it makes you feel good.
Robin Nicholson is a director with Edward Cullinan Architects
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