100 20th-Century Houses - Twentieth Century Society - E-Book

100 20th-Century Houses E-Book

Twentieth Century Society

21,59 €

Sammeln Sie Punkte in unserem Gutscheinprogramm und kaufen Sie E-Books und Hörbücher mit bis zu 100% Rabatt.
Mehr erfahren.

A celebration of Britain's diverse housing styles throughout the twentieth century and beyond.This illuminating book is a fascinating insight into Britain's built heritage and the diverse housing styles of the twentieth century. Redesigned and updated in a brand-new edition, it showcases 100 houses, from throughout the 20th century and stretching into the 21st, that represent the range of architectural styles throughout the years and show how housing has adapted to suit urban life. Each house is accompanied by stunning photography and texts written by leading architectural critics and design historians, including Gavin Stamp, Elain Harwood, Barnabas Calder, Alan Powers and Gillian Darley.From specially commissioned architect-designed houses for private individuals to housing built for increased workforces, each of the 100 houses brings a different design style or historical story. There are houses built as part of garden cities, semi-detached suburban dwellings, housing estates, eco-houses, almshouses, converted factories and affordable post-war homes. Architectural styles encompass mock Tudor, modernist, Arts and Crafts and brutalism, and featured architects include Giles Gilbert Scott, Walter Gropius, Edwin Lutyens, Powell and Moya and David Chipperfield.The book also contains essays that explore the social and political aspects of housing design in Britain over the last 100 years, looking at the impact the world wars had on housing, exploring domestic technology and building materials and discovering how the modern house came about. This compelling book gives a glimpse into the wonderful housing Britain has to offer and is a must-have for all fans of design history and architecture.

Das E-Book können Sie in Legimi-Apps oder einer beliebigen App lesen, die das folgende Format unterstützen:


Seitenzahl: 157

Mehr Informationen
Mehr Informationen
Legimi prüft nicht, ob Rezensionen von Nutzern stammen, die den betreffenden Titel tatsächlich gekauft oder gelesen/gehört haben. Wir entfernen aber gefälschte Rezensionen.



Cath Slessor

Why do houses excite our emotions?

Catherine Croft


What makes these houses special?

Elain Harwood


Labour-saving homes: The impact of domestic technology

Kathryn Ferry


‘Now, building your house can be ever so much fun’: The architect and the patron

Alan Powers



Further reading


Picture credits


Technically speaking, I grew up in a 20th-century house, although you won’t find it in this book. It was a small, trim granite villa in suburban Aberdeen, built in the mid-30s, to a developer’s specification, squarely aimed at middle-class families. My parents, a doctor and a teacher, true to the target demographic, acquired it in the late 50s and remained ensconced there, limpet-like, for nearly half a century. There was some low-key architectural excitement in 1974, when the kitchen was rejigged and a small, flat-roofed porch added to accommodate a central heating boiler with a huge metal flue resembling a child’s drawing of a rocket. How it ever got planning permission still bemuses me. In many ways, it was a very ordinary house, unlike the more architecturally significant examples brought to life so memorably in these pages. But it was still home.

As a building type, the house has been the standard bearer of often quite radical innovation that presages deeper evolutionary currents in architecture and society. Most famously, Le Corbusier’s aperçu that it was a ‘machine for living in’ became a modernist call to arms. Though it now sounds like an exhausted cliché, at the time it encapsulated a genuinely thrilling shock of the new.

Yet it remains the case that the one-off house, modern architecture’s great catalysing impetus, tends to be the preserve of relatively wealthy clients, while the great mass of ‘ordinary’ dwellings churned out by developers and volume housebuilders remain untouched by architectural imagination or ambition. However, many of the houses shown here – from terraces to stand-alone villas – are happily removed from the popular conception of the house as a sybaritic bauble of lifestyle and largesse, fetishised ad nauseam on TV lifestyle shows. Rather, they are thoughtful reflections on the complex and shifting relationship between architecture and context, people and place; a quietly modest history of modern dwelling in all its multifarious facets. From the Hobbit-like burrow of Arthur Quarmby’s Underhill in West Yorkshire to the coolly modular Hopkins House in Hampstead, London, all human and domestic life is here, extolling the modern house’s pioneering and frequently eclectic spirit.

But even as the house continues to evolve, it must also be acknowledged that the suburban ideal of an isolated dwelling on a plot – my childhood home, and still the default template for much residential development – now looks woefully unsustainable in an era of climate catastrophe and diminishing resources. Devising contemporary housing models for an immensely altered ‘new normal’ will test the ingenuity and resolve of architects, developers, housebuilders and politicians. Only time will tell if they can meet this critical challenge.


More than any type of building, our lives are influenced by houses – by the homes we live in and those we visit. When we organise C20 Society members’ events, we can always be sure that a visit allowing access to the interior of a private house will sell fast. I really enjoy writing the C20 Magazine’s ‘Me and My House’ features (designed in part, if I am honest, as an excuse for me to visit some amazing places), and I particularly like hearing how people ended up living in a notable bit of twentieth-century design. Sometimes it is largely chance, but it has frequently been the result of both extreme tenacity and enthusiasm, with quite often a dedication to research and conservation bordering on the obsessive. Some embrace living a full-on period lifestyle, or at least develop a serious eBay habit, but most just love the extra light and space they have found, and frequently enjoy a more integrated relationship with outdoors, often in marked contrast to their previous Victorian or Georgian homes.

The houses I grew up in myself were comfortable but not very exciting. Family lore has it that my seemingly off-piste interest in architecture (not something anyone in my family had studied before) must have been prompted by Strawberry Hill House: I’m not so sure. Horace Walpole’s Gothic home (now open to the public, but then gloomily mysterious and largely impenetrable) was immediately across the street from our 1920s suburban home. At that time it was a Roman Catholic teacher training college, and when my mother had some part-time work there, she allegedly skimped on babysitters and left me in my pram to gaze at the ornate traceried ceilings. I have absolutely no recollection of this. I am not convinced that the then depressingly institutional character of the spaces had any impact on me. What I do remember is regularly going with my mother to her hairdressers in a light, sun-infused domestic space around the corner. This hairdresser worked from home, and her home (I know now) was part of a 1960 Span estate. Fieldend in Twickenham, London, was awarded a Housing Gold Award in 1961 and a Civic Trust Award in 1962. It felt like entering a different world. New Ash Green, a later Span development, takes our 1969 slot.

Today economic circumstances have led to an inevitable emphasis on the core investment value of houses, and political rhetoric has fuelled a gut feeling that financial security and social rootedness are linked to owning a house. At the same time, twentieth-century architects have become increasingly interested in the broader psychological impact of buildings on people, and particularly psychological readings of houses. An Englishman’s home became not just his castle but an essential element of his self-perception and core inner being. Philosopher Gaston Bachelard writes in The Poetics of Space about how ‘by remembering “houses” and “rooms”, we learn to “abide” within ourselves’. Perhaps houses that were less compartmented might not only change how we physically spend our time but enable us to think in a more creative and free-flowing way. However, Bachelard saw verticality and concentrated centrality as key aspects of a house. I am struck by the fact that from the 1950s on, height and centrality were increasingly less consistent attributes of domestic architecture. The twentieth-century house becomes increasingly horizontal, more diffuse in form, and integrated into the landscape. The imagination of architects seems to leapfrog Bachelard. Maybe it is the sense of infinite possibility that draws us so strongly to want to know houses intimately.

Sarah Peers and Jeremy Melling photographed at Brackenfell (see page 66) for the ‘Me and My House’ feature in the C20 Magazine.

The Span estate at Fieldend, Twickenham, London, completed 1960.

Are C20 private houses ‘at risk’?

Despite this popularity, the futures of even the best twentieth-century houses are not necessarily secure. My first major case at C20 was not a Brutalist car park or public housing estate but a classic 1930s modern movement house, threatened with complete demolition. Sadly, despite our best endeavours, Greenside, by Connell Ward and Lucas, 1937, was destroyed. I was surprised. I’d thought that 1930s buildings (especially ones which, like Greenside, were by well-known architects and were listed) were safe. I also thought that houses should be relatively simple to find conservation solutions for. After all the requirements for a house – sleeping, eating, living – have not essentially changed, and twentieth-century private houses have none of the problems of scale posed by vast eighteenth-century stately homes, such as Wentworth Woodhouse. Not do they have the perceived negative social stigma associated with the large post-war housing estates. As this book shows, the house evolved a very long way during the twentieth century as lifestyles become less formal, servants became a rare luxury and women’s roles changed. However we have seen many conservation issues prove common to houses from other decades, and Greenside demonstrated many of those we still come across most frequently.

Most notably, Greenside was a relatively modest and small house, surrounded by larger, more glamorous and more recent neighbours. It was chilly and poorly insulated, and hence expensive to run and environmentally profligate (although reducing a viable building to rubble is pretty bad news in terms of energy consumption, too). It lacked a big kitchen with room to sit and entertain rather than just serving as a utilitarian workspace. With a bit of care and imagination (and, to be honest, a generous budget) all these problems could have been sensitively overcome, but sadly in the case of Greenside the bulldozers were brought in first. The experience taught me that frequently economics was going to argue against conservation. In sheer money terms it was far more profitable to knock down Greenside and build a new, larger house on the site, and the fine imposed on the owner for acting illegally in doing so was laughably small in relation to the profit to be made. The sums are even more compellingly in favour of redevelopment when two or more houses can be fitted on the plot (and often these houses had generous gardens, so this is frequently possible).

Another major loss was the most radical of architect Edward Cullinan’s early houses. This was designed for his uncle Mervyn Horder in rural Hampshire in 1958. It explored new technology in terms of integrating passive solar design, and combined self-build ‘bricolage’ and an almost deconstructivist formal language of tilted and twisted planes. An intensely urban house with a multi-layered history has been another recent loss, not demolished entirely but recently turned down for listing and extensively altered. This was Hornton Street, Kensington, unusual as a composite designed by James Melvin as his own home, reworked by Sauerbruch Hutton in 1994. It was featured in director Johanna Hogg’s film Exhibition, where it feels almost as vivid as the human characters.

Still from the film Exhibition in which 60 Hornton Street, Kensington, London had a starring role.

Greenside, Virginia Water, Surrey, Connell Ward and Lucas, 1937, listed Grade II but demolished in 2003.

The future of the twentieth-century house

All the more reason, then, to do all we can to make these houses better known and more desirable, and encourage more people to value them for what they are. To this end, three of the journals we’ve published are on houses: The Modern House, Post-War Houses and most recently simply Houses. The last looks at less extensively published architectural practices outside London where architects had managed to develop a cluster of individually commissioned houses at various dates. The chapter on Mervyn Seal’s work around Torquay, including his dramatic ‘butterfly roof’ houses, evolved directly out of casework – this time with a better outcome, which we were able to celebrate by running a couple of weekend visits to Devon to see them. Post-War Houses featured Robert Harvey’s Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired work around Coventry, which has suffered as a result of the extreme wealth of the area: Stonecrop (built for himself between 1955 and 1957) narrowly escaped a massive extension when it was listed grade II*, but at South Winds (built in 1965) we were unable to prevent consent for an enormous extension on a scale that would never have been considered appropriate to an older listed house.

We also publish a series of books on individual architects, though so far, out of the 11 we have published, only Aldington, Craig and Collinge are known principally for their houses. Their 1971 Anderton House was acquired by the Landmark Trust in 2000, enabling holidaymakers to experience it first hand. Of course, houses certainly do appear in other books in the series, such as Powell and Moya’s Martin’s (1954), Leonard Manasseh’s 6 Bacon’s Lane (1959) and Trees by Ryder and Yates (1968), all featured here. Also among these houses are the work of forthcoming subjects in the series: Patrick Gwynne’s The Homewood in 1939 (which belongs to the National Trust – one of a very few twentieth-century house museums in the UK) and Frederick Gibberd’s BISF House in 1944.

We hope you will enjoy reading this book as much as we have enjoyed writing all the entries and debating what to include. Many wonderful houses have, of course, had to be left out and many architects we would have loved to represent are missing. This is just a taster, deliberately mixing the well-known with the deeply obscure, the avant-garde with the traditional, and safely protected buildings with ones still very much at risk. Our selection is designed to entice you to want to know more, to read further and, we hope, to join C20, to help us preserve twentieth-century architecture and come with us on future visits.

Catherine Croft, Director, C20 Society

Architect Peter Aldington has established a trust to secure the future of his house and garden, Turn End in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire.

Chestnut Grove

Location: New Earswick, York

Architect: Raymond Unwin

Created: 1914

Status: Listed Grade II

New Earswick was developed as a Garden Village for Rowntree employees by the Joseph Rowntree Village Trust, formed in December 1905, with Raymond Unwin (1863–1940) appointed as their architect. The houses in Chestnut Grove were built in 1910–14, compact three-bedroomed types, with a living room and scullery on the ground floor. Their design, however, dates back to c.1900, when Raymond Unwin designed a pair of Voysey-influenced cottages built in Church Stretton, Shropshire. In 1902–03 these were combined into a terrace of four, grouped with a Barry Parker-designed pair in Western Terrace, the prototype ‘pre-Trust’ phase of New Earswick. These designs were part of a series of type designs also used at Letchworth and they set standards for the first half of the twentieth century. Unfortunately updating of services in the 1970s resulted in the loss of the central chimney stacks from most housing in New Earswick; a loss to the townscape.

Mervyn Miller

129 Grosvenor Road

Location: Pimlico, London

Architect: Sir Giles and Adrian Gilbert Scott

Created: 1915

Status: Demolished

Sir Giles Gilbert Scott made his name by winning the competition for Liverpool Anglican Cathedral at the age of 22, but he was much more than a Gothic church architect. Shortly before the First World War an opportunity arose for him to try out the modish ‘Neo-Grec’ style, that refined Greco-Roman manner, for a Thames-side house in Pimlico. The client was the Hon. Sir Arthur Stanley, MP, who took his young architect to Italy first, and Pompeii was clearly the theme in what was built in 1913–15 (with the assistance of Scott’s younger architect brother, Adrian). Stanley was disabled, so all the house was on one floor, with rooms arranged around an open atrium with a Greek Doric stoa overlooking the river. Scott also designed furniture that reveals him as a pioneer in the Regency Revival. This house was not an unqualified success: Thames bargees stole the cushions, the atrium was soon roofed over and, much altered, it finally disappeared at the end of the twentieth century.

Gavin Stamp

Royd House

Location: 224 Hale Road, Hale, Cheshire

Architect: Edgar Wood

Created: 1916

Status: Listed Grade I

Edgar Wood’s own house is theatrical and exotic: it amused him, on arrival at the local station, to tell the cabbie to take him to ‘the ugliest house in Hale’.

From the street a dished gateway in a high brick wall leads to an imposing circular courtyard. The house front is symmetrical with curved external walls and a tiled panel influenced by his 1914 tour of Tunisia and Persia. The roof is flat, the plan part way between Art Nouveau butterfly and modern. Inside the house, silk Mandarin gowns were used as wall hangings, and the kitchen was in turquoise and gold leaf. Sadly these are lost, but a fractal Arabic-style door and ceiling painted by Wood himself can still be seen in the circular hall.

With its unity of plan and landscape, Royd House prefigured the Riviera house Wood built for himself in 1932 at Porto Maurizio where he spent his last years painting.

Andrew Crompton

All Hallows

Location: The Green, Ardeley, Hertfordshire

Architect: F.C. Eden

Created: 1917

Status: Listed Grade II

The Green, a horseshoe of houses and a parish hall built around a functional well, is the principal feature of the small village of Ardeley. It is based on Blaise Hamlet, Bristol, a picturesque scheme by John Nash of 1811. All Hallows, one of two detached houses and the first to be completed, owes little to the Regency cottage orné, being rooted in the Arts and Crafts tradition. Sentimental decorative detail is avoided, as is any affectation of rusticity, giving an English picturesque dependent on materials, design and a sense of place rather than on whimsy or artifice.

All Hallows was inhabited by nuns until 1942, part of an Anglo-Catholic vision for Ardeley. The creation of workers’ housing in an idyllic English setting at the height of the First World War gave the scheme an added pathos articulated by a painted inscription on one of the houses: auspicium meloris aevi: ‘a sign of better times’.

Edward Hagger

77 High Street

Location: Clovelly, Devon

Architect: Orphoot and Whiting

Created: 1918

Status: Listed Grade II

Zachary Hamlyn, born locally, made his fortune as a lawyer and purchased the Clovelly estate in 1738. It passed by descent to Christine Hamlyn Fane, who in 1889 married Frederick Gosling, whom she persuaded to adopt the name Hamlyn. She also convinced him to devote his considerable fortune to restoring the village, then in poor repair and without sanitation. Many houses were altered between 1914 and 1925 and, while the village appears ancient, datestones with the initials ‘C.H.’ reveal the truth. No.77 is basically eighteenth-century, but with twentieth-century windows, a concrete balcony and a flat roof at the rear. If architects were involved it was perhaps the firm of Orphoot and Whiting of Bideford and London; a later partner was Ian Lindsay, responsible for more sophisticated restoration work in Scottish villages. Hamlyn’s friends included Rex Whistler, who produced designs for Wedgwood and for textiles based on the village.

Elain Harwood

Clockhouse Way

Location: Braintree, Essex

Architect: C.H.B. Quennell and W.F. Crittall

Created: 1919

Status: Listed Grade II