1-3 Willow Road – London
Architect: Erno Goldfinger
Goldfinger designed this small row of houses in 1939 and lived with his family at number two until his death in 1987. The house is now owned by the National Trust, who offer tours in the morning and an open house in the afternoon for a cost of £6 to non trust members. I certainly don’t begrudge paying that to maintain the place and keep it open to the public. It’s fascinating to have a wander around Goldfinger’s office and living room, look at his bookshelf and collection of art. The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable, answering all of our questions and giving us interesting tit-bits of information. One interesting thing I noticed is that while the rest of the house is quite spacious, the kitchen is incredibly small. I guess he wasn’t much into cooking.
The exterior of the building is quite conservative, the brick facing allowing it to blend seamlessly into suburban Hampstead. However, modernist elements such as the flat roof, the large ribbon window and the concrete columns mark it out from the other buildings in the area, giving us a taste of his future work.
Here’s the link to the National Trust page for the building: