WHAT WE’RE SEEING
6:30pm – 7:30pm, Tuesday 21 May
Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
The entertaining and idiosyncratic Dr Lucy Worsley has made a name for herself chronicling the social and aesthetic history of the home as a TV broadcaster, historian and chief curator of the Historic Royal Places. In this evening talk tomorrow 21 May at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Worsley will be presenting the more intimate details associated with the domestic interior and the ways in which rooms so often reflected their owners interests and lifestyles. Good place to get some ideas on how to influence the design of modern houses today.
For more information and to book tickets, visit: V&A
WHAT WE’RE SEEING
Open House 2013, County Street, Elephant & Castle, SE1 4AD
Housing the people of London is a growing problem. This unique bottom-up community-led nine day event Open House 2013 deals exclusively with the problem of housing in London. It brings together people facing the housing crisis to organise and take action around collective housing needs through a skill share on legal observing, a workshop on how to set up a housing co-op, a Q&A session on tenants’ rights, a talk on gentrification, crowdversations as well as talks by high-profile thinkers on what is happening with housing around us – architecture critic Owen Hatherley, professor Danny Dorling and senior economist at the New Ecomonic Foundation James Meadway. Today is the final day and to round up The Community Food Growers Network is presenting the talk Land and Housing Struggles: Past and Present from 5pm. Head over for also for a chat with the event organisers and for more information on any aspect of housing. For more information, visit: Open House 2013
ARCHITECT OF THE WEEK
Austin Vernon & Partners was established in 1948 when Russell Vernon (1916-2009) became a partner in the architecture practice of his uncle, Frederick Austin Vernon (1882-1972), who was the surveyor and architect to the Dulwich Estate. For several family generations, the practice had already been a successful commercial enterprise. Its architectural output, however, was rather traditional. Russell, who had studied at the Regent Street Polytechnic and worked for his great uncle, George Vernon (1870-1942), transformed it into a modern studio that over time has been appreciated for producing some of the highest-quality 1950s and 1960s housing in the country, as well as for the restoration of Dulwich Picture Gallery after bomb damage. Austin Vernon & Partners designed many different types of building in many different locations around the country, including the headquarters of Otis Elevators; a church and training centre for the Church Army; and an office for Lufthansa. Their greatest passion, however, was the Dulwich Estate, where they designed over 2,000 homes. Great care was taken to respond to the natural contours of site, surrounding tree heights and placement of existing trees.
For properties for sale or to let by Austin Vernon and other architects, visit: The Modern House
HOUSE OF THE WEEK
Looking out onto the Kalvebod Faelled on the edge of the Copenhagen Canal in Southern Ørestad, 8 House is the largest ever private development to have been undertaken in Denmark and comprises 61,000 square metres of residential space as well as 10,000 square metres of retail and office space. Designed by Danish outfit Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), its fundamental design principle is that all types of families and people can be accommodated within the building – young/old, nuclear/single-parent households and growing/shrinking families. Progressive in this ambition, people are accommodated in flats and townhouses which have been variously put together in non-traditional forms and tied together in a literal bow-shaped plan with two communal garden courtyards. Retail and office spaces are located on the lower floors, while there is a promenade and cycle track to the 10th floor. The building has been shaped according to access to views and light, so that one corner is dropped to ground level.
WHAT WE’RE HEARING
Deckhouse by Exs Architects
The Dutch city of Nijmegen has launched a new concept of affordable homes for first-time buyers called ‘I build afordable in Nijmegen’ (IbbN). Aimed at helping the architecture industry also, the scheme has has paired 20 architects with building companies to produce about 30 prefabricated kit designs – from detached timber cabins to redbrick terraced houses – with a construction cost of as little as €115,000 (£97,400). To read the full article, visit: The Guardian
WHAT WE’RE SEEING
Saturday 15 June, 9:45am meet
On 15 June, the Twentieth Century Society is organising a walking tour to Frinton Park Estate in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex. Mentioned in Jonathan Meades‘ The Joy of Essex, Frinton Park Estate is a partially complete 200 acre speculative housing development which was begun in 1934 by Coast Property Investment Company, who planned to build a whole new small town. The tour looks at the collection of Modernist houses on the Estate including those by the lead masterplanner for the estate, Oliver Hill. This all-day event, led by John Barter, Rachel Baldwin and volunteers of the Frinton and Walton Heritage Trust, also looks at the best houses in the ‘select Edwardian Avenues’ on the Powell Cooper Estate, for which Frinton is also famous. There will also be interiors and other surprises on the day and Liz Bruce, the Trust’s Archivist, will open the Trust’s Railway Gatekeeper’s Cottage Museum to be viewed at the end of the visit. For more information, visit: The Twentieth Century Society
WHAT’S ON THE MARKET
This four-bedroom house on Lake Geneva, near the village of Maxilly, has just come on the market for €2.5 million (£2.1 million). Completed in 2009, the house is split over two levels to make the most of the views over the local mountains of the Mémises and Dent d’Oche. On the ground floor is an open plan living space with kitchen and dining area that opens out in all directions to the terraces and garden. The first floor includes a master bedroom with ensuite as well as the remaining bedrooms and a family bathroom. The house has a full basement with a garage and storage area, children’s area, laundry room, wine cellar and an open room which could become a home cinema area. Constructed from precast concrete panels and using such a bold lines, overhangs and terraces, house is uncompromising in its modernity but sits effectively and strikingly in its mountainous landscape, while its openness makes it a fantastic vantage point to take advantage of the stunning scenery.