Sunday, September 12, 2010

the concrete house

Moira+I visited The Concrete House, near Westbury-on-Trym, yesterday. It was one of 25 buildings that were open to the public as part of the excellent “Bristol Doors Open Day 2010”. Designed by architects Connell+Ward and built in 1934 (Amyas Connell was one of the pioneers of the modernist architecture in the UK). Large areas of glass and orientated to maximise sunlight gave the house a wonderful light and airy character internally. Judging by the massive heat-gain experienced in one or two of the rooms on yesterday’s tour (it was beautifully sunny), thermal insulation must have been a huge problem (ie. hot in summer, cold in winter). Apparently, as far as the original clients were concerned, the husband adored the house whilst his wife simply hated it! I have to say, I was a little disappointed by the house overall – perhaps, very unfairly, because I was seeing it alongside Le Corbusier’s 1929 Villa Savoye!
Photograph: three-storey glass and metal-framed stair tower giving access to the sun-roof.

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