Monday, 29 September 2014

The Homewood

A visit to The Homewood, near Esher, Surrey.

This modernist masterpiece was designed by the then 23 year old Patrick Gwynne, for his parents and himself to live in. Since his death in 2003 it has had a tenant and his family living in it, as well as being open occasionally for guided tours of the house and garden.

I strongly recommend going to visit it. A truly amazing house and garden.

At the end of the tour of the house, the guide asked the very strange question: should the National Trust have modernist properties such as this?

To me, it seemed an absurd question: the house has huge architectural value. Just because it is not a half timbered thing from the 1500s does not make it any less so: the diversity of the places that the National Trust protects is one of its strengths, and it should continue to find interesting and unusual places that need protection.

While wandering the garden, I was lucky enough to meet the current tenant, who was out exercising his extremely lovable young Border Collie. He was a very nice man who seemed very pleased that other people could enjoy his home as much as he and his family clearly do (his daughter has been inspired to a future career of chef/architect, which seems very sensible indeed).

I believe that the interior was an inspiration for Frasier's apartment, right down to the exact same Eames chair (which I really want..). (PS: I love Frasier.)

If you can visit, do so. I would imagine it looks even better with the upcoming autumn colours, though I quite enjoyed what my tiny little Pentax Q did with the black and white here..

Hope you enjoy them.

The front door.

His ground floor work room.

The Eames chair, which also name checked in an episode of Frasier (and I want a chair like it..).

Outdoor crockery.

The barbecue area (which also served to heat the roof terrace).

Steps into the pool.

Patrick Gwynne's grave.

The current tenant (and his extremely friendly Collie).