Interesting for various reasons, not least because this 1950s modern house in Hampstead, London NW3 comes with its own blue plaque.
There is a very good reason for that too. This 1953 design was the work of Michael and Lois Ventris, who designed and built the house for themselves, presumably in an era when land was available in this part of the world a little cheaper than it is now.
Michael Ventris OBE was an English architect, classicist and philologist who deciphered Linear B, the ancient Mycenaean Greek script. As a result of that – and designing this house – you now have an English Heritage plaque on the outside wall commemorating the man and his work. It’s an interesting little aside and something to get the conversation started when visitors drop by.
Saying that you aren’t buying this house for the plaque. You are buying it for both the architecture and location. In terms of the latter, that pretty much guarantees a hefty price, not least because it also sits in a good-sized plot. But the house is worth talking about too.
It was actually talked about in Country Life back in 1959, with the magazine mentioning ‘…the excellence of its finish and materials, the fastidiousness of its detailing and the carefulness of its planning’. All of which ‘combine to make it more worth study than many flashier buildings.’
Not a great deal seems to have changed with the house since those words were printed. Of course, the finishes are more contemporary. But the architecture/ design are pretty much as Michael and Lois Ventris created over 60 years ago.
Period details are still in place, including the staircase within the double-height hallway, the exposed brick, the large windows and the fairly open (and bright) layout. Perhaps the odd built-in fitting too.
But this is far from a time capsule. The house has been updated and maintained over the years as you would expect, but without completely tearing away the past. A 1950s frame with a mix of old and new fittings and finishes.
As for the layout, that’s interesting and slightly unusual too. A lower ground floor hosts a double garage, with a staircase leading up to the ‘raised’ ground floor.
The majority of the living space can be found here, including studio space, two of the bedrooms, a hallway, a bathroom and the kitchen. Head up a further floor and you will find the large and bright reception area, a storage area and the master bedroom, along with a second bathroom.
What looks to be considerable gardens surround the house too, which include a shed and a high external wall.
As I said, property in this postcode doesn’t come cheap, especially when it has land and a blue plaque attached. You are looking at something in the region of £2,995,000 if you want to move in here.
Images courtesy of Goldschmidt and Howland. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.