Roy Blampied, a forgotten local hero.

This week I received a delightful package in the mail. A book about Mr Blampied and his buildings written by his son Peter Blampied, with a hand written note from the same. A hand written note is a rare thing in this age of technology, we forget what charm they hold. Today’s blog is a tribute to the kind package and his father, the forgotten local hero.

Born in 1894, Roy Blampied practiced as an Architect in Jersey for about 20 years. His career was interrupted by World War II, although his last building was completed before the island was occupied. Most locals may not have heard of Mr Blampied, but they certainly would recognise his buildings.

Roy Blampied went to school at the Architectural Association, London in 1912. World War 1 interrupted his studies and he joined the army from 1914 until 1919 to serve the country. With his studies completed in 1920, he returned to Jersey to practice. There he completed many well-known projects until his retirement when Nigel Biggar took over his practice. Blampied’s son Michael also qualified as an architect around this time and joined Nigel Biggar in practice to form Blampied and Biggar. Later known as Nigel Biggar and Partners when Michael left to work in London.

Blampied’s Work:

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De Gruchy’s New Street Entrance- 1925

Blampied was 30 when this building was completed and so was likely around 28 years old when he started the design. It may well have been the success of this project that lead to other businesses approaching him to be their architect. The Jersey Evening Post praised the project on the day of opening.

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To join a new building with old, to conform to modern architectural conditions, yet retain the continuity which the whole should possess provides an interesting architectural problem and we believe our readers will agree when looking at the finished building that Mr R. C. Blampied ARIBA, the young local architect entrusted with this important task has fulfilled all these conditions.”

 

 

 

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Merton Hotel – 1929

Roy Blampied was hired to design two of the Seymour Family’s hotels in Jersey. The first was the Merton, which was completed in a Deco style.

 

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West Park Pavilion – 1931

Perhaps Blampied’s most iconic building was the West Park Pavilion. The building is commonly attributed to Grayson, however this is believed to be a biographical error.

West Park 02Designed in the African Dutch style in the late 1920s, this style influenced his designs for houses on the island. The building has since been knocked down and replaced with an apartment building designed by Naish Waddington Architects.

 

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JEC Power Station – 1934

This building is perhaps my favourite. Originally designed as the local power station, the building was refurbished by the JEC in 2001 to contain the company’s offices and a shop. The renovation of the Deco design is quite beautiful.

 

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Trinity Parish Hall – 1936

You can see Roy’s Art Deco design taste in the ornamental features of the parish hall.

 

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Pomme d’Or Hotel – 1938

The hotel was the second designed for the Seymour Family, and contains Blampied’s trademark glazed coloured tiles. Many of his residential projects also contain this feature.

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Of course the balcony of the hotel has become iconic to the Liberation of the island, due to the photo of the commanding officer of the liberating troops being photographed standing there waving to a cheering crowd.

 

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JEC Showroom – 1939
Mr Blampied also designed the new showroom for the JEC which was located in Library place. The ground floor of the original building has been lost but the window on the first floor and the tubular light are still in place.

 

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F Le Gallais & Sons
This building was originally designed by Roy Blampied, but unfortunately burnt down in a fire after the war and after he had died. Luckily the repair took place under the supervision of Nigel Biggar and Partners who still retained the original drawings and were able to ensure it was build to conform to the original design.

 

Information sourced from:

Peter Blampied’s Book Roy Blampied An Architect’s Practice
http://www.theislandwiki.org/index.php/File:SJ15PavDesignRoyBlampied.jpg
http://www.theislandwiki.org/index.php/F_Le_Gallais_and_Sons