A HOUSE THAT’S SPIC AND SPAN
Street in Knightsbridge, now an upmarket area of prime central London, was then somewhere artists, scoundrels and actors gathered to drink and network
His former apartment on Pont Street is now for sale. It’s within a Dutchstyle property built in 1876, and designed by CW Stephens, who also created the world-famous Harrods.
Wilde’s old pied-a-terre includes an open-plan reception room, three bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, its own lift, a dining hall, kitchen and a terrace. There has been much debate in recent months about the need to build affordable homes to solve the UK’s growing housing shortage as, year after year, we fail to build enough homes to meet demand.
But there was a time when a small band of entrepreneurs, visionaries and builders banded together after WWII to do just that and built thousands of stylish homes designed and built so that ordinary Britons could afford them. Called Span houses, they were the brainchild of Eric Lyons and Geoffrey Townsend, and examples of their developments can be seen all over the south of England.
They started building in earnest during the 1950s and their properties were radical for their time. Designed to be modernist but blend in with their suburban environments, Lyons and Townsend wanted to build affordable family homes with gardens for first-time buyers. The properties included modular designs, low-cost construction methods and required buyers to join a residents’ association and get involved in maintaining the estates.
If you’d like a piece of this utopian world, then a four-bedroom example is currently for sale at Mallard Place in Twickenham, one of the last Span developments to be completed, in 1984.
This four-bedroom house overlooking the River Thames comes with its own boat mooring and is for sale via River Homes (020 8977 4500) for £1.35 million.