Le Corbusier meets the English terrace: rare 50s modernist house for sale

Modernism, English style: check out this modernist terraced house from the 1950s by the architects Howell & Amis.

south hill park 9

This property – one of a terrace of six three-storey houses designed by Bill and Gillian Howell and Stanley Amis – was built  in 1956 on a sloping site at South Hill Park in Hampstead  .

Always a good sign when architects themselves live in the places they design – and this project included their own homes.

They were employed by the pioneering London County Council, and prior to this had been working on the modernist Alton West estate in Roehampton (some now grade II* listed).

Here they drew on Le Corbusier’s modular system, but adapted to the English tradition of the terrace. Four Victorian terraced homes were replaced, the two additional houses made possible by creating a narrow frontage of just 12’9″. To compensate for this, they built into the site – the houses are a surprising 40’3″ deep.

The setting makes them very valuable now (asking price £3,000,000) – they have fine views over the Heath, a private garden and shared use of a beautiful orchard fringing Hampstead Ponds – but they’re also very fine examples of mid-century modernist design.

Internally they have double height spaces, a pleasing combination of concrete, painted brickwork,  and timber,  open staircases, panelled ceilings, and large windows that make the most of the views. The vibe is Scandinavian – clean-lined yes, but warm and  inviting rather than austere.

The agent writes:

The interior retains its original configuration, with a self-contained one-bedroom flat on the lower ground floor with separate access from the street. This could easily be incorporated into the main house if desired, and indeed some neighbouring properties have installed a kitchen-diner here.

The ground floor contains a large entrance hall with coat cupboards, leading to a dramatic open-plan kitchen and dining room that is partly double height.

A spiral staircase leads down to the garden. The first floor contains a sitting room on the mezzanine at the rear, and a bedroom or extra reception room at the front. There are two bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor.


Leave a Reply