Feeds:
Posts
Comments

As visitors or commenters to this site may have noticed, this site hasn’t been updated for a few years now, due to Christian, a former resident (and creator of the site) moving away.

I was recently lucky enough to move into one of the homes, No. 6, as part of a group of trainee architects while studying for our undergraduate degrees, and can say that all of us have truly enjoyed the experience of such a home. During my residence there, I happened upon RememberTheWindow while enquiring about the rich history of these unique architectural gems, and was lucky enough to get in contact with Christian regarding one of his many articles on here. 

He has kindly offered me the task of taking over the site, which I am excited at the prospect of doing so, and thankful to Christian for the opportunity. Although he has set a very thorough standard for the quantity and quality of the research, anecdotal evidence, and history contained here already which I can’t hope to match (yet, at least), I will certainly endeavour to. 

Thanks for reading, and I hope to have my first article posted shortly!

Simon

Advertisements

We have quite a bit of modern furniture and in a conversation with a recent visitor she expresses a strong preference for a more traditional flair.  A former neighbour, Alan Day would have full-heartedly concurred and I thought I show how he designed his Studio in what I believe took more than 10 years.

The Hallway in Alan's former Studio

The Hallway in Alan's former Studio

Alan stayed as close as he could to the original idea of the house, thus he made the front room (in our house now a library) a presentation room – here the Bachelor Artist according to the original plan would have entertained clients.  This room could have been decorated by William Morris himself.

... let's talk further about this commission ...

... let's talk further about this commission ...

The studio was there for work and would probably not have been shown, although I am sure Alan did make exceptions to this rule…

Alan was an architect and worked in the studio

Alan was an architect and worked in the studio

After Alan’s demise the house was sold and the furnishings sold at an amazing auction at Bonham’s (I got none of the lots I bid for).

Yes, LAMDA or the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art is the next building west of the studios after Colet House, or more precisely it is a complex of three buildings.

LAMDA Building Main Entrance

LAMDA Building Main Entrance

The institutions that combined to form LAMDA actually date from 1861 and include the London Academy of Music making the Academy one of the oldest of its kind.  It moved here in 2003 (the site was formerly occupied by the Royal Ballet School, see my earlier entry on Margot Fonteyn).

For us the school has two advantages.  Firstly, there are constantly new productions to check out right in front of our door (see for upcoming productions on LAMDA’s site here).  And secondly, they have some grand plans for the site.  They chose Niall McLaughlin Architects and came up with this exiting idea:

The new building!

The new building!

I will be coming back  for some more drama even when it is not next door anymore…

Barons Keep

Photo by Maggie Jones

Barons Keep is a nice apartment block.  Designed by Gunton & Gunton the property is five storeys in height and was designed to allow each of the 118 dual aspect flats a view of the open space to the West (presently occupied by West London College, see my earlier post for an image back then).

Barons Keep Layout

Here the layout, it has been built in a horseshoe shape around a central landscaped courtyard.

Barons Keep Art Deco Details

Photo by Maggie Jones

It has some excellent 1930s Art Deco features like the metal casement windows, in particular the fountain shaped staircase windows that run the whole height of the building, and swung balconies.  It is for those reasons Barons Keep has been listed by the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham as a building of merit.

Elevation Study from Courtyard

Barons Keep is managed by its residents and they have some cool ideas.  I particular like their proposed new 6th Floor made entirely of glas, it will look stunning!  Here an elevation study as seen from the courtyard.

One thing however I have not found out in my ten years here in Barons Court is the question of what is it with the missing apostrophe for Barons This and That.  Anybody knows?

I have had all kinds of interesting conversations per email or phone due to this blog, one of the best started with a comment from New Zealand.  Nick Meek got in touch “I was bought up in that house (1964-1976). It was a cool place to live and I think back to it often. Next time I am in London (live in N.Z. currently) I intend to drop around; I expect to be let in. ;-)”.  I checked and indeed Alan Meek moved in in the early 60s (see my earlier article on former residents here).  So I replied casually “sure, why not” – thinking I would be long out of here before Nick makes it over!

But the Meeks upped the ante, the next to get in touch was his brother Alex, stating that he was effectively born in the house and that his father would like to have a look.  We thought this would be quite fun and arranged to meet.

A few days later Alan and Alex Meek came for coffee and – for a change – gave us a tour of the house!  My now office housed 5 children in a bunk and double bunk bed, our bathroom was their kitchen, they had birthday parties in our library, the studio was a proper photography studio and there was a huge field on the other side of the road.  It was lovely to meet our predecessors and to hear their stories!

Days later Alan popped by and brought us some photos of the good ol’ times:

Yes, this is our library

Yes, this is our library

The grass was greener on the other side back then!

The grass was greener on the other side back then!

Keen to hear what Nick might have to say when he comes…

…about parking I thought I better add a page to the site about it.

I personally prefer the cheap and efficient Resident Parking scheme

I personally prefer the cheap and efficient Resident Parking scheme

Again, there are surprisingly many options including garages and secure underground parking very close by, read here for more.

At the time of the construction of this terrace it was still relatively on the edge of town, overlooking the playing fields of St Paul’s School. The site was also close to the marshy Thameside village of Hammersmith and close to the part of the Fulham distinguished by the residency of Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898) in the Grange, North End Road, since demolished. St. Paul’s Studios were built besides a previous large studio-house containing a number of studios, built in 1885 for Sir Coutts Lindsay Bt (1824-1913) founder of the Grosvenor Gallery. Used by a number of a 19th century painters it is interesting to note that Edward Burne-Jones worked on Arthur at Avalon in this studio in 1897-8.

Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon

Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon

Immersed in his work, Burne-Jones identified himself with Arthur and even adopted Arthur’s pose when he himself slept. By 1885, four years into his work the association with Arthur reached the point where Burne-Jones had to ask his patron George Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle to cancel or revise his original commission, replacing the grand scene with a smaller painting focused on the departed king. Howard agreed to cancellation and never requested his downpayment back. Nevertheless, Burne-Jones returned to the original grand painting, and worked on it for the remaining thirteen years of his life. The studio was also occupied by his son Philip and in 1912-14 Frank Brangwyn R.A. (1867-1956) used them while working on a large-scale project. Brangwyn himself lived close by in Hammersmith, on Queen Caroline Street.

At the same time as the St. Paul’s Studios were constructed in 1891, C.F.A.Voysey – possibly the finest Arts & Crafts designer and architect – designed an interesting studio house, built just around the corner at 17 St. Dunstan’s Road, for W.E.F.Brittan (1848-1816) the decorative painter.

Studio House in St Dunstan's Road

Studio House in St Dunstan's Road

There are other late nineteenth century studio-houses in Margrave Road and Avonmore Road showing off the artistic activity in this area in the early 20th century.  One of note is the Fulham Glass House, 1906, a workshop and studios for stained glass design, built on Lettice Street off the Fulham Road, for Lowndes and Drury with whom Christopher Whall was closely associated – he himself living in Ravenscourt Park.

The Fall of Man

The Fall of Man

The series of window installed by Whall in the Lady Chapel, part of Cloucester Cathedral, between 1899 and 1913 is widely acknowledged to be the finest glass of the period in England.