Retro style: this architectural gem from the 1960s has a bargain price
Ellers Road, Bessacarr, Doncaster. Price: Was £325,000. Now £275,000. Contact: The Modern House, www.themodernhouse.net FRIENDSHIP brings many rewards and for Brian and Avril Wilkinson it brought a house so beautifully designed, it became one of the first 1960s homes to be listed by English Heritage.
The property, which has featured in many architectural journals, was designed by Peter Aldington, one of Britain’s finest 20th century architects and a founder of the “romantic pragmatist” group.
“He was a close friend of my parents. They played tennis and went walking and climbing together and so when they wanted to move to a bigger house, they asked his advice on a property they liked. He told them the garden was big enough to build in and they were excited about the idea. So Peter designed a house to suit our family,” says Sandra Wilkinson.
“He stayed with us and noted how we lived and designed it accordingly. It’s a brilliant house to live in because a crucial part of Peter’s design was to bring the outside in.
“I watch people building very modern houses on Grand Designs and they use the same principles that Peter used all those years ago. The other remarkable thing is that the house still looks very contemporary.”
The grade two listed property is on the market for the first time since it was built in 1967 and has recently been reduced in price.
The single storey building is in a U shape with an open plan living space, kitchen, cloakroom and four bedrooms plus a large conservatory. The bedrooms are arranged on the outer edge, while the kitchen is at the core of the house. The walls are of concrete blockwork, left untreated externally and painted white inside. Fascias, window jambs and sills are of stained softwood, while the flat roof is felted, with a structure of timber joists and steel beams. The windows are framed in aluminium.
The architect also used fullheight doors and had matching floor tiles inside and outside to create a seamless link between
It’s a brilliant house to live in because ... the design brought the outside in.
the two spaces. The kitchen still has its original fitted cupboards and a breakfast bar with folddown leaves and storage beneath. All the bedrooms have built-in wardrobes with original handles, and the master bedroom has a built-in dressing table and bedhead.
Sliding partition walls enabled the separation of the living and dining areas to provide extra accommodation.
These have now gone but the floor and ceiling slots and the cupboards which contained them remain. English Heritage noted the high levels of craftsmanship and good quality materials both externally and internally.
Outside, there is a paved terrace area and a wide garden laid mainly to lawn. Although it needs some updating, the property has been well-maintained over the years.
Sandra says: “I have very happy memories of the house. It was a wonderful place to grow up in.”