Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Homes: Porn for modernist architecture geeks

A while back I posted some photos of my kitchen, in which you could just see a little of my worktop...

And it inspired Adam Jacobs-Dean to post a comment and a link to some photos of his own kitchen on Pinterest. He was too polite to say so, but his worktops are how mine should have looked. 

My own kitchen work surface is a slightly bodged-together affair, constructed from a super cheap and ugly worktop (installed backwards; curved edge hidden by the wall and silicone) hidden with a covering of separately bought Formica – one of the company's reissued 1950s designs. 

Adam's, as you can see, are only similar in their pastel Formica-ness and square edges. But the worktops are just one detail of this beautiful kitchen, which Adam designed himself.

"The kitchen is my pride and joy," he explains. "I designed the units and then found a local carpenter to build the kitchen for me in beech furniture ply, laminated with Formica in three different colours." The walls are covered with hexagonal mosaic tiles.


Adam is lucky enough to live in a Span House, in Blackheath, southeast London. Again, Adam's done it properly (I live in my local authority's 1970s copycat version of a Span house). Span homes were built throughout the 1950s and 60s in London and the southeast, by Span Developments, a company co-founded by the British architect and designer, Eric Lyons to create affordable, well-designed housing. The houses are many a modernist architecture fan's fantasy dwelling, and some of the Span estates now have Conservation Area status. Light, open-plan and set within generous communal green space, they're a design classic.

But back to the kitchen: Adam explains that the houses originally had a partition wall with a serving opening between the kitchen and dining space. You can see how this looks, mid-refurb, in another Span House. In Adam's home, a T2 Span design, built in 1957, this had already been replaced with a stud wall when they moved in. "We pulled it down to open up the kitchen space, stealing some space from the dining area to have a larger kitchen," he explains.


This is how it looked before...

Have a nose around some more of the house. Below, the conservatory.

"We're also putting in a new garden," Adam says. "I want to replace the existing decking with exposed aggregate concrete pavers, to match the front paths and road finish. But they're not easy to source."

"We've furnished the house largely with eBay buys – Avalon and Tomado Ladderax shelving, an Ercol Plank dining table and repro Eames chairs – things we've picked up at the Dulwich Mid-century Modern Fair – dark green Cado modular chairs and Kandya bar stools – and new furniture – the light green corner sofa is from SCP and the orange and white wall unit in the conservatory is from Ikea."






"We have lived in Southest London since we graduated," Adam adds, "and were desperate to own a Span house – it took us three properties to get there, but we plan to stay put for the foreseeable future!"

Wouldn't you?

Adam's kitchen was designed by London firm, Christopher Davies Associates, in case you are in the area and after something similar.

3 comments:

  1. I love Span houses, they just make so much sense! Snaffled away a few more kitchen ideas for when we finally have the work done.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's so gorgeous! Long live Formica. I worked in Ham SW London for a while near a Span estate. Oh how we need that vision for housebuilding now.

    x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your blog is so gorgeous and inspiring. You have such a very beautiful home with a nice kitchen design. :0

    Paula @ Montecito

    ReplyDelete

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