Florin Court

Nuggets – bite size chunks of London

Florin Court

Agatha Christie cre­at­ed the Bel­gian pri­vate detec­tive Her­cule Poirot in 1920 and he appeared in scores of her sto­ries over the fol­low­ing 55 years. In recent times he was con­vinc­ing­ly por­trayed by David Suchet in ITV’s Agatha Christie’s Poirot, a long-run­ning series that brought almost all the char­ac­ter’s print appear­ances to life on screen. Suchet bowed out of the series in June 2013.

Suchet’s Poirot (to whom the adjec­tive ‘dap­per’ was invari­ably applied) lived in a world in which every mod­ern build­ing seemed to be art deco. Accord­ing­ly, it was essen­tial that the tele­vi­sion incar­na­tion of his home – a flat in the fic­tion­al White­haven Man­sions, Sand­hurst Square – should pos­sess the appro­pri­ate archi­tec­ture. Florin Court, in Char­ter­house Square, Smith­field, served the pur­pose ele­gant­ly from the series’ first episode in 1989. Apart from chang­ing the name above the porch, remov­ing the cars out­side and dis­guis­ing their park­ing bays, the Poirot pro­duc­tion design­er need­ed to do very lit­tle to achieve the time shift to the peri­od before the Sec­ond World War.

Florin Court is a ten-storey block built in 1936 by Guy Mor­gan, who had worked for Edwin Lutyens before set­ting up his own prac­tice. Mor­gan endowed the block with wide win­dow bands and round­ed cor­ners curv­ing in to a recessed entrance to achieve a stream­lined style. In an opti­mistic vision of com­mu­nal inter­ac­tion, Florin Court orig­i­nal­ly had squash courts, a din­ing room and a cock­tail bar. Nowa­days, there’s a gym, a spa and a wi-fi area.

Florin Court was dam­aged by a fire in a first floor flat in July 2013. How­ev­er, no one was hurt and the build­ing was soon restored to its for­mer glo­ry.
Florin Court facade, looking up