ALAN CASH - web pages

Home page - click here

WGC book index - click here

Welwyn Garden City


Small Houses £500-£2,500

Author: H. Myles Wright  

M.A., A.R.I.B.A. (editor)

First published: 1937 by The Architectural Press (Second impression 1938)

Format: Hardback 11" by 8¾" with 112 pages
 


There are two houses from Welwyn Garden City featured in the book which is why I have included it on my WGC book index menu. My copy is the 1938 second impression of the first edition. Further editions or re-prints were produced up to 1951. These are available second-hand from the usual sources. Also, a modern reprint in paperback is available.

The main body of the book consists of 74 articles describing dwellings, allmost all of which are detached houses. Most articles occupy one or two sides of the book, although in some cases two features share a single side. Each feature has at least one external photograph of the house; some have interior shots as well. There are 152 black-and-white photographs altogether. Most are very attractive and well-reproduced in my copy. Each feature includes floor plans of the building, and short notes under the headings: Site, Plan, Construction, Finishes, Services and Cost. Some of the floor plans are small on the page but being very finely printed can stand some enlargement. The Welwyn Garden City houses are on pages 30 and 85.

The 14-page introduction in the book is illustrated with 6 cartoon line-drawings by G. Brian Herbert.
 

 

 
 

PREFACE

 
 
 

IN this book are collected together nearly eighty small houses recently built and designed by architects. Although the houses have been selected between the general limits of £500 and £2,500, the great majority are well under the cost of £2,000. Each house is illustrated by exterior views and plans, and in a number of cases the interiors are shown as well. A few examples taken from recent housing schemes are also included. Notes appended to every house point out special features in the site and plan, and give particulars of construction, finishes and the building cost (exclusive of the site unless otherwise stated). In the introduction the editor deals with some of the problems that affect the building of the small house today — the lessons taught by the recent building boom, the evils of ribbon development, and the question of "style": he also points out why it is essential to employ an architect, and explains the work that the architect does. The introduction is illustrated with drawings by G. Brian Herbert.

Acknowledgment is due to those architects who have granted permission for photographs and plans of their work to be included in this book.

May, 1937.

 
 

 

 
 

INTRODUCTION

 
 
 

THERE is no subject on which everyone holds stronger views than they do about houses. No assembly of concrete things affects people more sharply and permanently than the surroundings in which they live; from nothing else can one judge so shrewdly what a person's character and views are likely to be, and the mildest of people have the most determined, and on occasions ferocious, ideas about the kind of house in which they would like to live.

These things make the writing of an introduction to a book on houses extremely difficult. At the same time they compel some discussion of the more fundamental questions which affect housing accommodation. For, where everyone differs profoundly on details, it is only on the broader aspects that agreement is possible at least on what ought to be wanted before the whole matter is obscured by what individuals have actually demanded and got.

The word "house" is, first of all, used here as a synonym for "dwelling" not so much because this book is about houses as because we are still by general desire, and overwhelmingly, in fact, a nation of house dwellers. The flat, however luxurious, convenient or hotly defended against tactless visitors, is still regarded as a substitute for a house.

It may be that in a highly industrialised and densely grouped community this is a ridiculous attitude and must eventually be changed. But it is still the one most generally held. And an attempt to describe some of the problems of the smaller house today — why it is placed where it is, why it looks like it does, why it is made of such a variety of materials and in such oddly different shapes — must necessarily take account of the most widely held views.


The Post-War Housing Development

The many causes of the general preference for living in a house do not in detail concern this book. The past achievements of Britain in house building, the failure of urban living conditions to improve at a pace equalling industrial development, the past social predominance of those living in country houses, a desire for a house and garden "all one's own" — all these are part causes of our feeling that the best place to live is in a house and the best place to put a house is in the country; and no one in England is likely to doubt the reality of the general ambition to own something like a country house.

Although the causes of this ambition are not of the first importance here, the results of it which have taken place during the present century, and particularly since the War, should be very carefully thought over by everyone who is today thinking of buying or building a house.

 
     
   
     
 

Before the War only a few fortunate persons amongst those who earned their livelihoods in towns could afford to live at any distance from their work. Since the War this opportunity has been immensely extended. Transport facilities have been speeded up and the motor-car has been brought to a state of reliability which enables any owner with parking accommodation near his place of work to live fifteen miles away. In addition, the final obstacle to house ownership, the lack of ready money, has been met by building societies. So that today everyone having an income of over £200 can aspire to owning, eventually, his or her own house. The results of these developments deserve to be called terrific. A huge number of families wanted something as near to a country house as they could afford, and suddenly a considerable proportion of them were given the opportunity of having such houses.

In the housing boom which then began, about 1923-24, and which was hardly beginning to fall off in 1936, the problem of the small house as it is today came into existence. A multitude of mistakes were made, in layout, planning, structure and appearance, which will last as long as the houses built. But from those mistakes, and the fewer valuable developments which accompanied them, the prospective house owner can learn so much that it is worth considering them in some detail.


The Lessons of the Boom

When the housing boom first started it was obvious that the public had put up with a lot in their old houses which they did not intend to have in the new. They wanted more space, less housework, and cooking and other equipment far and away better than what they had had before. And, rather naturally, they wanted more than the building and associated industries could supply at the price.

The small house problem, in those exciting times, began to take a definite threefold form. It became the problem of where to put the house; the extent and arrangement of the accommodation it contained, and the form and quality of its materials and equipment.

Sometimes in the alternate price-cutting and purse-stretching of the boom, fortunate people got exactly what they wanted. More often something had to be sacrificed in one or all categories.

The first problem which faced those supplying the demand was where to put the houses built. Local planning regulations allowed something like twelve houses to be put on each acre of ground, while popular demand was not for terrace houses (which can be spaciously arranged to this density), but for detached houses. The semi-detached house proved a tolerable compromise and began to achieve its present ubiquity. Then it was found that if these houses, each on its 30- to 40-foot strip, were strung out along an existing road, "services" (water, gas, electrical and sewage conduits) were much more accessible, and a much smaller charge for road making could usually be set against each house than if a new road had been specially made at right-angles to that existing. In times of keen competition, when the "Two Hundred Pound House" was in headlines as often as the "Hundred Pound Car," the cheaper house was the one that sold; and ribbon development came into its own.

 
     
   
     
 

It should be emphasised here that there is no reason why semi-detached houses should not be very good houses indeed, even on 30-foot strips. The danger and the harm of such houses is in their mechanically continuous development in strips; the greater distances imposed on residents walking to shops, railway stations or other social centres; the cutting down of trees and banishing of open spaces; and the consequent monotony in the whole neighbourhood's appearance.

The whole question of the best grouping of houses is extremely complex. All that is known for certain at present is that ribbon development is inefficient and harmful from every aspect. And the lesson for the prospective householder today is that the wise choosing of a site for a house is of the very greatest importance. For a house sited amongst ribbon development, or on land which may be so developed, will probably command a bad price in twenty years' time.


The Search for the "Cheapest Possible"

This first result of the building boom may be in the long run the most important to the country at large, but it was another which made itself felt much more immediately to house buyers.

The majority of those who wanted houses in the early years of the boom either could not afford, or imagined they could not afford, the services of an architect. They did not want to wait for nine months or a year, could not be bothered with making the decisions involved, or preferred to buy something they could see and examine before making up their minds.

To cater for this desire a very large number of builders and other firms built houses on a speculative basis for sale. And less scrupulous speculators took advantage of the fact that little of what is important in a house shows on the surface.

As competition in selling ready-made houses became keener, a given sum apparently bought more and more space, brighter finishes, more labour-saving devices and much more lavish equipment. Every new house began to have a tiled bathroom, heated towel rails and linen cupboards, fancy fireplaces, a parquet floor and a carved staircase. While all this seeming loveliness was provided in reality by scamped workmanship and by materials which became poorer and poorer in lasting qualities. The building industry in consequence got a bad name which in general it did not deserve. The tragedy of the boom was that far too many of the uninstructed public would buy anything so long as it was the cheapest. In consequence a tiny minority of building firms, by exploiting this tendency, were able to force the rest to follow them or go out of business.

We are still suffering from this second result of the building boom, which is commonly known as "jerry-building." There was, however, a bright side even to the price-cutting competition which made jerry-building a household word.

Extreme competition in house building led to flimsiness and shoddy work. But it also stimulated, extended and transformed every material and organisation in the industry. Standards of accommodation and equipment, at least in theory, leaped upwards; and new methods which would have taken twenty years to come into general use before the War were rejected or in large scale use after a year's strenuous trial.

The 11-inch cavity wall, the bituminous sheeted flat roof; the glazed panels for use in bathrooms and kitchens; the rubber and lead-sheathed flexible electric cable; and particularly the use of plywood and similar products in large areas, are a few examples of thoroughly satisfactory products which were finally proved or first appeared during the housing boom and are now in almost universal use. And a very large contribution to better housing has been made by them.

On the whole, however, from the point of view of the ordinary man who hopes to own a house, this second influence of the boom was for the worse. Superficially he got more for his money. In practice, after five years of steady expense in remedying faults in the house that he had bought, his bargain had in many cases become a bad one. Competition and an enormous demand had compelled the sacrifice of something. Lasting quality was chosen as the least obvious of sacrifices and the public was left to bear the consequences.


How Houses are Made "Unique"

The last of the influences of the housing boom on the small house problem was, on the whole, the most pernicious, and is the one which the layman finds most difficult to understand. It is the effect of the boom upon the form, the internal and external expression, of the mass of houses.

The simplest possible discussion of this influence seems to the average member of the public to become so complex, practical questions seem to be so wrapt up in matters artistic, that he is tempted to think the whole business tiresomely unnecessary. The layman is, however, implored not to take up an attitude so easy. For the question of the form of a house is not today merely a matter of personal whims; nine-tenths of it is a matter of hard cash, and so on the lowest basis deserves the watchful attention of the most practical man or woman. In any case no general improvement in our small houses can be expected until the public does understand the problems involved, and therefore the intelligent layman can reinforce his determination by considerations of national duty.

To understand this third influence of the boom it is necessary to ponder momentarily over two of its many causes. The first is what the mass of house buyers wanted and still want in their "perfect house"; and the second is the conditions under which the houses they actually got were built.

The majority of people, as has been said, wanted something like a country house. They did not like a terrace house because it reminded them of the dreariness and congestion of towns. They did like a "country house" — because they liked the romantic idea of a country cottage or house; because they wanted a garden for the children; because they wanted more space.

The builders supplying the houses soon found themselves in a difficulty — the difficulty that hundreds of houses in long rows were apt to be monotonous in appearance, a quality the public did not want. The "unique" and "individual" house was then invented.

 
     
   
     
 

The competition in prices usually compelled the plan and construction of all houses to be much the same. (To the layman thinking of the innumerable possible plan shapes for a house this may seem strange; but it is nevertheless the case.) The builders in search of "original" house forms could not, at anything near the prices then ruling, supply "genuine" Georgian, Tudor, Jacobean or Elizabethan houses in the sense of faithfully reproducing the structural and decorative methods employed in those periods. They therefore decided to fulfil the reasonable desire for something a little different by superficial faking. And fake they did, and in many cases still do.

 
     
   
     
 

Now if this huge parody of famous historical styles had not impaired the efficiency of the houses upon which it was inflicted, had cost practically nothing and had been recognised by all concerned just as fun, no harm would have been done. In the event it did a very great deal of harm. Anyone who is thinking of buying or building a house of their own should think carefully about its results.

First, how much did this faking affect cost ? The half-timbering, the twisted chimneys and fancy porches (to begin with pure embellishments) were naturally done as cheaply as possible. But on a house costing the purchaser £900 such whimsies might easily cost the builder £35; and this £35 spent on, say, better electrical equipment would make all the difference to the owner between fifteen years' trouble-free service and a constant stream of minor defects, annoying repairs and small shocks.

So much for the finance of fancy embellishment. The struggle for more eye-catching individuality, moreover, soon went much further. The main form of houses could not be altered; but the roofs, windows, stairs, doors and out-houses could easily be made more intriguing — and were so made.

Roofs were broken in multitudes of gables, verges and valleys (these joints between different wall and roof surfaces are always weak points and expensive to make watertight). Bay windows were thrown out in every direction and cute little windows and acutely dangerous twisting stairs appeared in thousands. The layman who likes these things, as he is perfectly entitled to do, may exclaim here, "And why not ?"

The answer as it bears on the layman's pocket lies in modern building materials and organisation. Skilled labour is very expensive, materials moderately cheap. Thus a contemporary building tends to be more efficient in use and cheaper in cost of erection when it is built of materials used in large areas and simple shapes. Similarly, a house costing £1,000 and simple in plan and shape can be built of better materials and have better quality domestic equipment than one costing the same money which has its roof-line and walls full of breaks, bulges and bay windows.

The prospective house owner is so provided with a standard for judging houses which is very reliable indeed when applied to those costing less than £3,000. The simpler and plainer a house looks, the better value it is likely to be for its cost and the more lastingly comfortable and economical to live in. And because of these qualities it is almost certainly the better architecture.

 
     
   
     
 

"The simpler the better" seems a loose way of defining good architecture today; but it is generally true, and generally true however much the building costs. The cheap and highly skilled craftsmanship was the material which in the past allowed the building of the "complicated" fine architecture of our cathedrals and country houses. Now we have different materials which must be used in large and simple areas, and architecture, which is an art based directly on materials, must change with them. In the past our architecture was complicated or ornate naturally; today complication is no longer spontaneous and is therefore usually badly done.

Once the layman has realised these principles behind house-building today and is armed with a test of the fundamentals which can be applied widely and reliably, he or she can move on to the large decisions that must be come to about every house.

He can spend £1,750 on getting the utmost material value from present building and equipment resources; he can spend £1,500 to the best advantage in the same way and keep £250 for special features — first-class bathrooms, fine panelling, or a carefully designed garden. Or he can dedicate £400 to old facing bricks, tiles and so on, to get a "lived-in" external appearance.

But what he must realise is that he cannot get all these things for £1,750. He must not think that Elizabethan or Californian Spanish external forms are just two ways of building as cheap as any other. Technical resources today have made simple and sensible external form the "norm" which is the most efficient and economical (as well as the best architecture). To deviate from it in any way means, to a greater or lesser extent, that the Georgian doorway necessitates a poorer boiler and the thatched roof compels the laying of less durable floors.


Preparing to Build

It is hoped that this outline of the influences of the housing boom on the small house has given the layman some idea of what must be borne in mind in assessing the "real value" of a house. If he takes the question of the house he would like to have at all seriously, he must constantly remember that concentration on one ingredient of his perfect house may be done, and to some extent must be done, at the expense of other ingredients.

The best course of action for the individual concerned depends entirely on how strongly he feels about houses. He may find a house already built which has approximately the rooms needed and buy it to save time and thought. On the other hand, he may feel that getting what he wants, having a house specially made to his own measure and ideas, is well worth the excitement and delay. It is as a guide to these last that this book is intended.

Having come to the great decision that the adventure of building is justified, there arises immediately the problem of how to get the best value from the money available without spoiling all pleasure by any of the mistakes which have been rather gloomily emphasised in the earlier part of this introduction.

The layman is assured that certainty of avoiding bad mistakes, as well as the certainty of having sound quality in his house, can only be obtained by consulting an architect at once — before even ideas on the accommodation wanted are settled or the place decided in which it would be nice to live.

To some people this advice may seem altogether too much of a plunge. They may imagine that architects are luxurious people to employ, all very well for a town hall or a millionaire's country seat, but far too big an extravagance for a man or woman wanting to spend £750 to £2,500. Or they may feel that an architect is only useful when the site is bought and the rooms needed are all settled — that he then adds the architecture as a decorative and perhaps just a shade unnecessary extra.

These views are entirely erroneous. A fully-qualified architect assures all-round good value in a house in a way that cannot be obtained by other means; but he must be consulted from the very beginning if the clients' ideas are to be reconciled with the economies now possible in building. Assurance, however, may not be enough for the practical man who wants to know exactly where he stands.

He may wonder where he will be if an architect prepares designs which he does not like; he may have heard (correctly) that an architect's total fees on building work costing £1,000 will amount to about £8o, and on a greater building outlay (for a single building) to 6 per cent., or £120 on a £2,000 house.

The practical business man may well say: "I have no doubt that if I employ an architect I may get a better built and better-looking house, but will the savings and help that he will give me offset nearly £100 on the small amount I have to spend ? Surely if I employed a builder direct and spent the £100 myself I would get better value for money."

Or he may think to himself: "Quite apart from the fact that an architect gets a commission on what he spends, not on what he saves, I have heard that they are expensive fellows who will be persuading me into little artistic extras that I can't really afford. Now if I employ a builder I can be really firm."

These questions are so obviously sensible and important to a client of limited means and without knowledge of building technicalities that they deserve careful attention — particularly in a book showing nearly eighty houses designed by architects. And since no assurance is as convincing as a demonstration, it seems worth getting as near to a demonstration as this introduction can and summarising what an architect really does to earn his money and save his client's money in the building of a small house.


What an Architect Does

Where an architect has been called in at the very beginning of the building venture, the first problem to be considered is the choice of a site. And a very difficult problem it is, for once decided it cannot possibly be changed whatever happens near it in the future; the statements of estate agents being in this connection often far removed from the true facts.

Clients usually have ideas as to the locality in which they want to live, but thereafter begins the balancing of alternatives which will continue until the last piece of furniture is moved in: whether a more costly site and nearness to shops or railway station are preferable to a lower site cost and more open surroundings coupled with more remote services in the way of water, gas and electricity. There are also more direct questions: Is the neighbourhood going "up" or "down" ? What are local rates ? Is it "ripe for development" or in a backwater ? Who owns adjoining property ?

 
     
   
     
 

It is by enquiring into these less thrilling aspects of a house that an architect begins to earn his money. All play a part in deciding whether a site will be a good or bad investment and of them the service question is one of the most important.

All houses must have a cold-water supply, both for drinking and washing, and provision for drainage. It is convenient for all houses to have also a gas and electricity supply. lf these "services" are already available, the client does not have to spend capital providing them. On the other hand, if they are there already, so are other houses, and a client who wants space and peace may think money for their provision well spent.

Whatever he wants, the client will find his architect ready to help him in these decisions, pointing out advantages and disadvantages, and making certain that the local water supply is not poison to strangers.

Finally, the best all-round bargain of a site is bought and the next stage of house building, far more stimulating to laymen, is ready to begin: the stage of deciding what one can have for one's money.

(Here, in parenthesis, it is best to answer one of the practical man's questions. What happens if he does not like his architect's designs ? Not the slightest difficulty need arise in this matter if the client is plain spoken with the architect he consults from the start. The architect will readily agree a reasonable fee for advice in choosing a site, preparing sketch designs and a rough estimate of cost on the clear understanding that the client is under no obligation to go further if he is not thereafter favourably impressed with the price or design. Fees and expenses for preparing such "sketch designs" for a £2,000 house would probably be agreed at not more than £12.)

Nearly every client, as has been said, has special ideas on what he wants in his house. Several small living rooms, a perfectly quiet study, three bathrooms — some such feature is the ambition of everyone, and at existing prices few can have them all. The advantage of the architect lies in the client being able to get the most he can while being certain that quality will not be sacrificed in ways he does not see. It may be irritating to be told that only one of two ambitions can be fulfilled for the money, but it is also worth something to be able to complain bitterly to an expert that one wants more rooms while being sure that he will not retaliate with damp walls or a leaking roof. And the client, having got a good architect, is free to exercise this right very fully; and usually does.

The Treacherous Question of Style

Then, after the site and accommodation of the house, the client and his architect come to a much more subtle problem over which feeling sometimes runs very high in this country.

It is the question, already considered in connection with the housing boom, of the house's external and internal form — what is usually called the style. The appearance of a house is very important, but it should grow sensibly out of the accommodation and structural methods incorporated in the building. Occasional correspondence in the press about "modern" houses in the country conveys an impression that a style is chosen as if from half a dozen samples and then imposed unflinchingly on the building underlying it.

This is, or in all good architecture should be, quite untrue; and those who are thinking of building today should bear in mind that style in its commonest sense is important only as the client thinks it is important.

If he feels deeply attracted by the lightness and simplicity of the most modern work, or the solidity and craftsmanship of traditional building forms, he should naturally go to an architect with whose work he feels specially in sympathy. But the man or woman who wants a house which is just soundly contemporary will find the majority of architects see eye to eye with them already; and the insistence on any particular style is unnecessary and unwise.

The layman in a few cases, however, may not be satisfied with this answer. Surely, he may maintain, there is some absolute standard of values — surely there must be one building form which is more essentially right for our houses today than any of the others ?

So probable a question is most dangerously tempting, but for reasons in which space has a certain part it cannot be answered here except by a slightly fuller explanation of what is meant by "modernism" and "traditionalism."

Today it may be said that the architects called modern are trying to use all available materials to achieve the well-lighted spaciousness and simplicity in surroundings, intimately related with the open air, which they feel are most suited to the lack of pomp, fussiness, and maidservants which is the life of most of us. On the other hand, the traditional architects feel that building and craftsmanship methods which have proved satisfactory during centuries should not be lightly abandoned, and that, modified to suit the more complicated equipment of the modern house, such established building forms are still the best for present needs.

At the moment, building in accordance with either "extreme" view is uneconomical in the sense that almost identical accommodation can be provided more cheaply, and with equal lasting qualities, by other means. In fact, the all-round cheapest methods of construction may be said to be now half-way between these "extremes," and to be moving slowly towards the "modern."

In the houses illustrated in this book there are examples of nearly every type. But the most rapid turning of the pages will show the difference between all of them and the eye-catchers of the speculative housing boom. There is no gimcrack half-timbering, quaint porches, and jumbled roofs; no sacrifice of convenience to salesmanship. In these houses even the layman can see that the first things have been put first: convenient arrangement of well-shaped rooms, lasting structural soundness and good quality equipment. Only after and from these practical qualities has the external expression been developed to make the completed house.

This certainty of convenience never being sacrificed to effect is the third economy that an architect brings. The two remaining are those in which an architect's fees may be expected to justify themselves to the most hard-headed of practical men.


How an Architect Builds

If a client himself approaches two or more firms of builders for a competitive price for the house he wants, he faces the difficulty of deciding which is the best price. He can, of course, easily see which is the lowest price and which offers him the most accommodation; what he cannot know is the quality of what is being offered to him.

For the client who wants to make sure of a good bargain, and even for the builder who does not like tendering "blind," there is here no alternative to the architect. The procedure followed by the architect is specially designed to result in the lowest price for work exactly calculated and plainly understood by each competing builder.

The architect first prepares dimensioned and detailed drawings of the house, called working drawings; he then prepares a specification in which the quality and type of all materials and equipment are stated; finally (in all work over £1,500 or so), he or his quantity surveyor prepares a bill of quantities showing the amount of every item of material and labour used in completing the building. After this, all three descriptions (drawings, specification and bill of quantities) are sent to a number of reliable firms asking them to tender — that is, to submit an inclusive price for the work.

The economy of this system needs no strong emphasis. No builder is guessing at what is wanted, nor, if he is that kind, wondering what he can get away with in poor quality. What each builder has got to do is plainly before him; and, therefore, if he wants the job, he puts in the lowest price consistent with a reasonable profit, knowing that to ask for an unreasonable profit is to risk losing the job. In addition, this system allows for no later dispute as to what is and is not an "extra"; whether the builder should have carried out a particular item of work can be immediately decided from the contract documents.

The last economy that an architect ensures on a building contract comes from his supervision of work in progress.

Builders throughout the country (and this should be remembered at a time when hard things are being said about builders) are in general only too keen to do a good job whenever it is possible. But here and there a foreman is not proof against all human failings. If the use of a certain material is specified for a house and the builder has a large stock of a similar but not quite so good a product left over from another building, the temptation to use the not quite so good is very real. Similarly the builder's workmen may have been accustomed to making the joints between roof surfaces in a simpler (and perhaps not quite so thorough) way as that demanded by the contract.

These things may seem trivial to a client who is trying to keep expense to a minimum. Here he can only be implored to alter such an impression. Getting damp which has been caused through careless workmanship out of a house is one of the most maddening ways in which it is possible to spend a large sum of money.

The regular and unannounced visits of inspection by the architect while the house is building make certain that human failings do not destroy the standard set by the contract. These are the principal advantages that the employment of an architect brings to the man or woman building a house. To reckon their value in cash, it is not enough to think only of the money spent up to the moment of moving into the shiningly new building. The daily press during the last few years has been full of the complaints of those who imagined that expense ceased the first time they shut their own front door. The real test of a house is what it costs to keep it enjoyable to live in.

It is after the first year that the economy of a well-built house begins to appear. And it is only when a man reckons what it has cost him to build and to maintain his house for ten years that he has a total which can justly be compared with similar expenditure on other houses.

The Houses Illustrated

Those who have read the previous notes on small house building in the last fifteen years, and on possible hazards and ways of avoiding them, may possibly have felt a little disturbed. They have probably heard of such things as jerry building and ribbon development before, but problems to which attention must be paid in building a house may seem even bigger than they had thought.

These notes, however, have been included for the special notice of those who think that architects are unpractical people; whereas, in fact, the architect today is practical before all else. They are intended to emphasise the ways in which he is practical and to explain the ways in which he plans and controls building work on behalf of his clients. In them it is hoped that those who are wondering whether they can afford the adventure of building to their own measure can find a basis for their ideas, before turning to what really matters in this book — the houses costing between £500 and £2,500 which are illustrated in it.

The information which can help them most effectively in making up their minds is given for every house. The plans show the amount of accommodation, as well as the way in which the special requirements of other sites and clients have been expressed, such as the compactness of the house on page 101, which cost under £800, and the nursery with its own door to the garden in the house on page 32. From the plans also can be seen how the important questions of labour saving and comfort for the domestic staff have been answered for different clients.

The descriptive notes accompanying each house take the story of the plans a stage further. They contain the client's principal demands and limitations and advantages of the site, the type of construction used and, most important for the prospective house owner, the quality of decorative finish and domestic equipment which it has been possible to include for the price of each house. Some of the terms used for modern materials may be unfamiliar to laymen, but they are stated with technical exactitude for very sufficient reasons. Modern materials are legion, and some are good and some not so good; and the technical names are included to show the exact standard of material that has been used.

Lastly, the photographs show the external and in many cases the internal design of the houses. It has been attempted to include an example of each of the principal directions in which architects are trying at present to find the perfect smaller house; and to make sure that each house is good of its kind.

From this introduction and the illustrations and descriptions of the houses illustrated, the layman will, it is hoped, be able to learn what an architect does and how he works, how it is possible to get a lastingly satisfactory house built to one's own requirements and, of special importance, that such a house costs no more than one obtained in any other way.

H.M.W.

 
 

 

 
 

ARCHITECTS AND HOUSES ILLUSTRATED

 
 
 
Architects Site Page
 
E. C. P. ALLEN, A.R.I.B.A. House at Furze Platt, Maidenhead  23
 
J. T. ALLISTON and J. B. DREW, AA.R.I.B.A. House at Cliftonville, Kent
House at Cambridge
 52
  110-111
 
CHRISTIAN BARMAN, F.R.I.B.A. House at Esher Place, Surrey  26-27
 
GEOFFREY BARNSLEY, A.R.I.B.A. House at Welwyn Garden City, Herts.  85
 
F. E. BROMILOW, A.R.I.B.A. House at Barnt Green, Worcestershire  101
 
CACKETT, BURNS DICK and MacKELLAR, FF.R.I.B.A. Houses near Newcastle, Northumberland  76-77
 
HUGH CASSON, A.R.I.B.A. House at Compton Down, Winchester  88
 
COLE-ADAMS and PHILLIPS, AA.R.I.B.A. House at Bognor Regis, Sussex  36
 
CONNELL, WARD, and LUCAS Bungalow at Bourne End, Bucks.  53
 
R. A. CORDINGLEY and D. McINTYRE, F/A.R.I.B.A. Houses at Sale, Cheshire  82-84
 
C. W. CRASKE Houses at Cambridge  48-49
 
CRICKMAY and CRICKMAY, AA.R.I.B.A. House at Jordans, Buckinghamshire  100
 
CLIFFORD E. CULPIN, A.R.I.B.A. (Culpin and Son) House at Cuffley, Hertfordshire  56-57
 
DEANE and BRADDELL, F.R.I.B.A. House at Emsworth, Hampshire  44
 
W. A. DOWNE, L.R.I.B.A. House at Wimbledon, Surrey  54-55
 
FISHER and TRUBSHAWE, AA.R.I.B.A. House at West Wittering, Sussex  33
 
RONALD H. FRANKS House at Holland-on-Sea, Essex  98
 
E. MAXWELL FRY, A.R.I.B.A. House at Bagshot
House at Wimbledon, Surrey
 46
 46-47
 
ERIC GARTHSIDE, A.R.I.B.A. House at Farnham Royal, Bucks.  94
 
H. S. GOODHART-RENDEL, P.R.I.B.A. Bungalow near Cannes, France  72
 
STANLEY HALL and EASTON and ROBERTSON, F/FF.R.I.B.A. House at Tunbridge Wells, Kent  66-67
 
STANLEY HAMP, F.R.I.B.A. (Collcutt and Hamp)

House at Beaconsfield, Bucks.
House at Oxford

 105-106
 106-107
 
ERIC HAYMAN, L.R.I.B.A. House at Chalfont St Peter, Bucks.  109
 
P. D. HEPWORTH, F.R.I.B.A. House at Loughton, Essex
House near Henley, Buckinghamshire
 24
 25
 
G. BRIAN HERBERT, M.A., A.R.I.B.A. Houses at Hampstead Garden Suburb  50-51
 
T. CECIL HOWITT, F.R.I.B.A. House at Wollaton Park, Nottingham  80-81
 
C. H. JAMES, A.R.A., F.R.I.B.A. House at Welwyn Garden City, Herts.  30
 
KELLER and KOMPFNER House in South London  34-35
 
S. CAMERON KIRBY, F.R.I.B.A. House at Bognor Regis, Sussex  42-43
 
GERALD LACOSTE, A.R.I.B.A. Houses at Stanmore, Middlesex  96-97
 
LAVENDER and TWENTYMAN, F/A.R.I.B.A. Houses at Tettenhall, Staffordshire  37
 78-79
 
JOHN LEECH, F.R.I.B.A. House at Watford, Hertfordshire  28
 
HUBERT LIDBETTER, F.R.I.B.A. House at Totteridge Green, Herts.  45
 
A. MARSHALL MacKENZIE and Son, F.R.I.B.A. House at Bieldside, Aberdeen  60
 
EDWARD MAUFE, F.R.I.B.A. House at Northiam, Sussex  32
 
OSWALD P. MILNE, F.R.I.B.A. House at Farnborough, Kent  31
 
MINOPRIO and SPENCELY, AA.R.I.B.A. House at Kingsley Green, Surrey
House at Gidea Park, Essex
 40-41
 92
 
RUSSELL PAGE and G. A. JELLICOE, F.R.I.B.A. House at Stanmore, Middlesex  68-70
 
PAKINGTON and ENTHOVEN, FF.R.I.B.A. House at Tydehams, Newbury, Berks.
House at West Runton, Sussex
 64
 90-91
 
LIONEL G. PEARSON and F. HALLIBURTON SMITH, F/A.R.I.B.A. House at Mundesley, Norfolk  112
 
GEOFFREY F. RANSOM, A.R.I.B.A. Houses at Gidea Park, Essex  86, 87
 
J. CRUIKSHANK ROSE, A.R.I.B.A., and D. GRANT-COLLIE Houses at Highgate  65
 
DOUGLAS ROWNTREE, A.R.I.B.A. House at Gerrards Cross, Bucks.  73
 
FRANK SCARLETT, A.R.I.B.A. House at Rye, Sussex
House at Tonbridge, Kent
 38-39
 71
 
H. SPENCE-SALES House at Gidea Park, Essex  86
 
SCOTT, CHESTERTON and SHEPHERD, FF/A.R.I.B.A. Houses at Gidea Park, Essex  87, 92,
 108
 
SCOTT, SHEPHERD and BREAKWELL, F/AA.R.I.B.A. House at Clapham, Sussex  89
 
J. R. MOORE SIMPSON, A.R.I.B.A. Houses at Gidea Park, Essex  93, 108
 
MARSHALL SISSON, F.R.I.B.A. Houses at Carlyon Bay, Cornwall  99
 
F. HALLIBURTON SMITH, A.R.I.B.A. House at Wimbledon, Surrey
House at Mundesley, Norfolk
104
 112
 
HENRY G. SWANN House at Esher, Surrey  74-75
 
PERCY THOMAS, O.B.E., PP.R.I.B.A. House at Lisvane, Cardiff  61
 
STEWART L. THOMSON, A.R.I.B.A. House at Hornchurch, Essex  58
 
UNSWORTH, GOULDER and BOSTOCK, F., A., and L.R.I.B.A. House at Itchen Abbas, Winchester  59
 
WALKER and WESTENDARP, A.R.I.B.A. House at Kenton, Middlesex  84
 
WELCH and LANDER, FF.R.I.B.A. House at Ealing, Middlesex  29
 
L. W. THORNTON WHITE, A.R.I.B.A. House at Gidea Park, Essex  93
 
B. CLOUGH WILLIAMS-ELLIS, F.R.I.B.A. House at Portmeirion, North Wales  62-63
 
F. R. S. YORK, A.R.I.B.A. House at Iver, Buckinghamshire  102-103
 
FRANCIS W. B. YORK, F.R.I.B.A. House at Stratford-on-Avon, Warwicks.  95
 
 

 


 
 

Click on the image for a fit-on-screen view.

For a larger size click on the LOW, MEDIUM or HIGH button.

Below are the pages featuring the two houses from Welwyn Garden City,
and a few more sample pages selected at random.

 
 
 

p. 29


House in Beaufort Close, Ealing, Middlesex

WELCH and LANDER, FF.R.I.B.A.


Magnification:   LOW   MEDIUM   HIGH

 
 
 

p. 30


House at Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

C. H. JAMES, A.R.A., F.R.I.B.A.


Magnification:   LOW   MEDIUM   HIGH

 
 
 

p. 37


House at Tettenhall, Staffordshire

LAVENDER and TWENTYMAN, F/A.R.I.B.A.


Magnification:   LOW   MEDIUM   HIGH

 
 
 

p. 58


House at Hornchurch, Essex

STEWART L. THOMSON, A.R.I.B.A.


Magnification:   LOW   MEDIUM   HIGH

 
 
 

p. 62


"The Chantry", Portmeirion, North Wales

B. CLOUGH WILLIAMS-ELLIS, F.R.I.B.A.


Magnification:   LOW   MEDIUM   HIGH

 
 
 

p. 63


(continued from previous page)


Magnification:   LOW   MEDIUM   HIGH

 
 
 

p. 64


House at Tydehams, Newbury, Berkshire

PAKINGTON and ENTHOVEN, FF.R.I.B.A.


Magnification:   LOW   MEDIUM   HIGH

 
 
 

p. 73


House at Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire

DOUGLAS ROWNTREE, A.R.I.B.A.


Magnification:   LOW   MEDIUM   HIGH

 
 
 

p. 85


House at Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

GEOFFREY BARNSLEY, A.R.I.B.A.


Magnification:   LOW   MEDIUM   HIGH

 
 
 

p. 88


House at Compton Down, Winchester

HUGH CASSON, A.R.I.B.A.


Magnification:   LOW   MEDIUM   HIGH