11 October 2008

Modern Hampstead

Spend a day in Hampstead checking out some great Modern architecture and the Heath.

Firstly I went to see the Isokon building on Lawn road designed by Wells Coates - this building is today considered one of the key buildings in the British modern movement.

The building was finished in 1934 and was largely based on Le Corbusier's language of architecture.

The building was recently refurbished to its original design and details, to intended quality of being a true modern machine for habitation! (check out the plans of the building here - http://www.wellscoates.org/plans.htm )

Next stop was to see Erno Goldfinger's house, 2 Willow road, it's now owned by the National trust and in great condition.

You can access all the rooms of the house and see his great collection of art work and also a lot of furniture designed by him.The house was completed in 1938 and when it was finished it created a lot of public outrage - people argued that the house was very disrespectful of its context and on top that a number of cottages were demolished to allow for the construction. Among the people opposing it was novelist Ian Fleming (this was said to be his inspiration for the name of the James Bond villain Auric Goldfinger)

Sadly the national trust (in an attempt to sell postcards) doesn't let you take any photos on the inside of the house.
If you are a fan of the early modernist this house is a 'must see', it has some really great details and elements inside!

And the last stop was to see the huge Hampstead Heath - this is one of the largest green spaces in London. I love the fact that most of its landscape is left almost wild.

I ended my day on top of Parliament hill inside the Heath from where you get a great view of the city of London and it's surrounding areas.

(Click on image to enlarge)

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