A 1955 home designed by English architects Alison and Peter Smithson—oft-cited as the leaders of the New Brutalism movement in Great Britain—is on the market for the first time ever.
Located in the town of Watford in Hertfordshire in southern England, the Grade II-listed residence was originally designed for Derek and Jean Sugden, the former of the two a structural engineer and acoustician for Arup.
In a brief, Derek asked for a “a simple house, an ordinary house, but that this should not exclude it from being a radical house,” according to the Modern House, which has the listing.
Indeed, the two-story, 174 square meter (approximately 1,870 square feet) residence, which has been called a “seminal English house,” “an art work,” and “so witty and wonderful” by architects over the years, features a unique arrangement of windows and a form that references English popular architecture instead of the architecture of more glamorous locales like California and Scandinavia.
Peter Smithson explained their intentions: “[T]he distribution of the windows ... deliberately allows the brickwork to flow together and ultimately coalesce with the roof to form a solid mass resulting in that appearance of all-round protection which was once characteristic of English popular architecture so expressive of our climate.”
The deceptively simple brick structure is characterized by airy interiors. On the ground floor, an open-plan living room comprises a dining and living room separated by a plain wooden staircase and a brick fireplace place with concrete lintel. Off this space is a kitchen with units designed by Alison, a bedroom-cum-study, larder, and garden room.
Wooden built-in bookshelves, concrete shelving inset into the brick walls, and wooden plan doors showcase the duo’s “reverence for materials,” according to the listing.
Upstairs, the four spacious bedrooms feature sloping tongue-and-groove ceilings, which create a nice contrast to the more rustic floor below, whose ceilings are distinguished by rough-hewn beams. Two bathrooms and built-in storage round out the top floor.
As for the home’s outdoor spaces, the property, which sits on just under a half-acre of land, boasts extensive gardens and a lawn. It’s on offer for £1.2 million, or about $1.55 million.
Via: The Modern House