Sometimes inexplicable things happen. It's been a year or so since we mentioned
the story of Greenside
, an iconic modernist house
in Surrey threatened with demolition
. Well, it's finally happened. Apparently the owners secured consent last week and quickly ushered in the bulldozers before campaigners could do anything about it. Long neglected, the house was in a terrible state - a classic developer's strategy when you want to get shot of something and need it to be 'beyond economic repair'.
What can we say? Greenside was designed by Connell, Ward and Lucas
(a few tiny video clips of other work here
), now recognised as perhaps the most significant firm of British architects working between the wars. Working with a far more rigidly modernist aesthetic than was generally fashionable (the majority of the so-called 'white houses'
built in the inter-war period are far more art deco-inspired), their work was far from blandly functional. The irony is that people are crying out for permission to build new contemporary houses in Britain, and permission is usually hard to come by. So what will replace Greenside? See pdfs of plans
) at Runnymede
Council's website. Then weep. We can only assume the accompanying photos
are meant to convey the general aesthetic of the new house: Home Counties McMansion
What would the American equivalent be? Imagine demolishing Richard Neutra's Lovell House
(used as the location for Pierce Morehouse Patchett's house in Curtis Hanson's LA Confidential
). Then again... just two years ago Neutra's Maslon House
was demolished (see the before and after
in the LA Times
), despite the house's pedigree, fame, importance and value. Some Maslon interiors by Julius Shulman
and an essay on the house at percententerprise
(scroll down to 9/5/2003).
Greenside's destroyers, Gina and David Beadle
, join the Maslon's destroyers, Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. Rotenberg
, in things's
gallery of cultural philistines. Here's hoping that Google
will preserve their idiocy for generations to come. But then again, perhaps it's unfair to put people off their golf
More architecture (thankfully not under threat). City of Sound
occasionally devotes itself to intense, thorough posts on one single subject – the kind of article you hanker after in print. This lengthy description of London's Senate House
, designed by Charles Holden, is a perfect example, a good read to bookmark for future reference. More on Senate House
at the Twentieth Century Society
, who are quite rightly seething that a house can be listed
(yes, we're back on Greenside again), praised by experts and yet still demolished.
The City of London's COLLAGE
image archive has moved - 20,000 historic images from its collections. Online exhibitions include Henry Dixon's London
- although quite why the Corporation feels it has to deface each photograph (lossy jpgs, all under 50k) with such a prominent watermark is beyond us, though. Very small-minded of them indeed. Why not disable right-clicking if they're that worried about image theft? More old buildings: Heritage for Sale
, listed buildings on the market, including 'Arnussi
', an incredible Egyptianate villa in Sunbury-on-Thames, of all places.
Elsewhere. Qee keychains
, from the ever-essential Sachs Report
. Sachs is like the ‘fetish’ or ‘gadget’ pages of a print magazine, only it goes so much further, doesn’t include annoying recycled-press-release editorial, and, most importantly, links to stuff you’re actually interested in, not just some dumb new mp3 player that’ll be obsolete in a matter of weeks.