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1–3 Willow Road

London, United Kingdom
1 of 1

1-3 Willow Road is a terrace of three houses in Hampstead, London designed by architect Erno Goldfinger and built in 1938. Goldfinger lived in the house in the middle, 2 Willow Road with his wife Ursula and their children until his death in 1987. It was one of the first modernist buildings acquired by the English National Trust in 1995, giving rise to some controversy. It is open to the public.

The Willow Road terrace was constructed in concrete and faced in red brick. A number of cottages were demolished to allow for the construction, which was strongly opposed by a number of local residents including novelist Ian Fleming (this was said to be his inspiration for the name of the James Bond villain Auric Goldfinger) and the future Conservative Home Secretary Henry Brooke. No. 2, which Goldfinger designed specifically as his own family home, is the largest of the three houses and features a spiral staircase designed by Danish engineer Ove Arup at its core. The building is supported by an external concrete frame, leaving room for a spacious interior uncluttered by structure, perhaps inspired by the Raumplan ideas of modernist architect Adolf Loos.

Goldfinger himself designed much of the furniture in No. 2, and the house also contains a significant collection of 20th-century art by Bridget Riley, Marcel Duchamp, Henry Moore and Max Ernst.

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ludmilla, October 25th, 2013
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