Modern Architecture

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Modern Architecture


Kensal Maxwell Fry House Property at Ladbroke Grove, completed in 1938 was the first British modernist social housing. Make an analysis of its architecture and its ideas of planning and to explain its popularity then and now.

The architect

Maxwell Fry was one of the few modernist architects working in Britain in the thirties who were British, most of whom were immigrants from continental Europe where modernism emerged (Emmett2002 155). As the chief assistant in the department of the architect of the Southern Railway, one of his early commissions Margate railway station, which opened in 1926.In 1933 he co-founded the modern Architectural Studies (MARS) group, modernist architectural think tank.

Kensal House

His most famous buildings Kensal House in Ladbroke Grove, London, completed in 1937, where he worked with pioneering social reformer Elizabeth Denby create a spacious property with modern amenities common;Miramonte in New Malden, Kingston, Surrey; and Impington Village College, in Impington, Cambridgeshire developed in collaboration with Walter Gropius(Charles 2002 90).

The architecture of the house

Kensal House is one of several progressive, modernist housing schemes built in Britain in 1930, but unlike the Lawn Road and Highpoint Flats3 One4, these apartments were built middle class intellectuals. Completed in 1937, Kensal House marks a point in the history of British Modernist architecture, when the socio-political ideals of the early modernists come to the fore (Durandus 1999 55).

Along with the (now demolished), Quarry Hill flats in Leeds and Berthold Lubetkin's21 Finsbury Health Centre5, Kensal House hints at the credibility of British modernists in the form of a society in which they lived. British cities in 1930 were in dire need of housing reform. Heavy industry continues to dominate and employees and their families were crammed into small apartments with little or no amenities.

Crowded streets and dank apartments quickly become a hotbed of disease and the directory easily preventable diseases flourished. Tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, and all took their toll on children and the workers are lucky to be stuck in this slum( Downes, Charles Cowper 1999 44).Greenwood Act 1930 was one of many attempts to formally fix the terrible situation (and one of the first to emphasize the importance of careful planning), but in this era of reform is often piecemeal and left progressive-minded industrialists.

Modernist prototype

The rent was low, but Kensal House was more than just cheap housing for the working classes. Fry and his employer, subject to the new tenants with an amazing range of built-in social and community facilities. Property includes a community center, day nursery, utilities, laundry and dining facilities. Residents can go to metal and products of the classes or accede to the gardening club. Purpose-built nursery allowed children to play safely in a safe, clean environment, watching their parents. The nurse also visited the children on a regular basis. (legg Donaldson 2002 22)On top of all this, the residents were represented in the committees that managed the real estate.

For people who lived in the slums of London, Kensal House was another world. Clean, safe, autonomous, and stacked with amenities that even ...
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