Monday, January 16, 2012
Earlier last year I was reading online that Heathcote, the Edwin Lutyens designed country house, had come up for sale. Designed for businessman John Hemingway in 1906, the house was an unusual one for Lutyens, laying outside of the arts and crafts realm in which he practiced.The most surprising fact to me is that the house is not a large estate but rather a suburban villa - a precursor to the modern day mcmansion perhaps? (JUST KIDDING!) As you can see in the aerial view above and site plan below, the house has a substantial sized lot but is suburban in character. This is not a criticism from me in the least but an observation (I would never criticize a Lutyens project!). Normally with a house of this grand scale and design it has a working estate to go along.In his unusual design, Lutyens played with the notions of classical architecture and in particular the work of Palladio. The main facade faces the back garden, seen in the pictures above, but the street facing elevation is very similar.The 3 story house is symmetrical in plan and elevation and built of a local yellow rusticated stone with dressed grey stone quoining and Doric columns with a red clay tile roof.While the house is classical in design, Lutyens stuck to his arts & crafts routes by sourcing these local materials.Of the project Lutyens wrote "This house was for a very rich man who could not spend money: until he met me! in an ultra suburban locality"After visits to the Hemingways' former house, Lutyens was less than impressed with their sense of style and was therefore relieved when they asked him to help with the interiors of Heathcote and as you can see they turned out beautifully.The seller is actually a company who has had the house from the 1950s and has supposedly taken very good care of it but I haven't seen any contemporary interior photographs. What a spectacular house this would be to buy or work on!All historic photos from Country Life magazine via the book Edwin Lutyens Country Houses by Gavin Stamp. Drawings and aerial photograph from great Great Buildings.