Monday, 17 October 2011

Ernő Goldfinger

my view of Trellick Tower from Feb 2010
Ernö Goldfinger
so, most people who know me, know that i am slightly obsessed with Ernő Goldfinger 's brutalist beauty Trellick Tower.  this 31 story high rise block of flats, built in the '70s, is seen by some as one of London's much loved landmarks and by others as a concrete eyesore - but for me its definitely the former. when coming home from a trip out of town its the sight of this crazy boxy building that lets me know i'm nearly home and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, especially when backed by a glorious golden London sunset.  i couldn't imagine living anywhere that i can't see Trellick in the distance and dream of having an even closer view one day.
2 Willow Road (all photos courtesy of National Trust)
i have been meaning to visit the home of the Goldfingers' at 2 Willow Road in Hampstead for quite some time now so was glad to finally make the trip this weekend.  thanks to the National Trust this beautiful modernist home, designed by Ernö Goldfinger for his family in 1939, has now been preserved as a listed building and its open to the public (between March and October).  i highly recommend going along to enjoy both the forward thinking architecture and beautifully functional interiors, as well as the impressive modern art collection (including pieces by Bridget Riley, Max Ernst, Man Ray and more).
view of the dining room and some of the wonderful art...
originally Ursula's studio (with stage)
the stage, folding doors to reveal the living room.... the living room would have looked with all the windows open...heaven
the use of colour, materials and flexible spaces was all truly inspirational - it may not be the cosiest of family homes but i could move in here in a heartbeat as i fell in love with all the built in storage and folding walls - to say nothing of the glass, glass, glass everywhere - so that the rooms are bright, warm and afford amazing views of Hampstead Heath (tho admittedly the view is considerably reduced compared with when the Goldfingers lived here).  the tour guide we had (Martin) was fab - very informative about the house design, the art and giving us the odd tidbit about the Goldfingers' social life and artist friends - how Ursula catered dinner parties in the tiny kitchen i don't know, but being the Cross & Blackwell heiress, it was a nice touch to leave a tin of C&B soup out.  also loved the children's room (it could be partitioned into 3 rooms for the 2 children and the nanny) which contained a small doll's house that Ernö made his daughter - but, it being a modernist version, she apparantly wasn't too thrilled about with the result - i'm sure she had something more traditionally pretty in mind!
Goldfinger Two by Peter Wylie
i fell in love with this painting of Balfron Tower (precurser to Trellick) by  Peter Wylie which is now permanently on display in the spare bedroom, tho naturally i would prefer to own one of the Trellick paintings...i love 5 & 6!
Goldfinger Seven
Goldfinger Three
Goldfinger Six
Goldfinger Five

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