East Oxford
New Private Residence

This family residence for an architectural coupling and their children is homage to Alison and Peter Smithson’s, Upper Lawn pavilion in Tisbury, 1959-62; Luigi Moretti’s Girasole Apartment building in Rome, 1947-50; Le Corbusier’s Ripolin Whitewash; and Ben Nicholson, The White Reliefs produced between 1934 and 1939.

The house is deliberately modern and English Brutalist in tone but converses externally with the Victorian terraces which surround it using contextual materiality. The problem of the acceptance of modernism in Britain, we suspect is because much early British modernism seems in-human, lacking empathy for ‘the art of inhabitation’. This house makes a feeble attempt to offer a less severe and uncompromising modernism; still we have no regrets about doing this. Even though many architects lament the demise of their authority, gone are the days of the righteous architectural modernist whose forms shock and offend everyone but other architects.