Barbican Tower Flat

brutalist masterpiece

Over the past 10 years the Thomson brothers have had the dream job of working on a variety of interior design projects on one of our favourite brutalist buildings, the Barbican. The Barbican is a residential estate built during the 1960s and is a prominent example of British concrete brutalist architecture. We have had the pleasure of working with the them on a number of projects and on their most recent project, a tower flat, we have supplied some iconic lights and furniture. Here are some images of the pieces in situ looking great.

Barbican Flat
Stunning view from the desk, love the Eames fabric on the Eames Office chair
 
Love the Tulip Table and Foscarini Chouchin light
Love the Tulip Table and Foscarini Chouchin light
Simple White kitchen with a splash of colour in the form of Foscarini Chouchin Light and Tulip chairs in green
Simple White kitchen with a splash of colour in the form of Foscarini Chouchin Light and Tulip chairs in green
Iconic shard in the background, nice terrace!
Iconic Shard building in the background, nice terrace!
Doesn't getanymore iconic than that - Vitra Eames Lounge Chair and Knoll womb Chair
Doesn’t get any more iconic than that – Vitra Eames Lounge Chair and Knoll womb Chair
Recreate this stunning look with some of our favourite products featured in the interior –

Vitra Eames Lounge chair
Foscarini Chouchin Light
Vitra LTR Table
Flos Taccia
Vitra Eames DCW Chair
Vitra Ball Clock

Hope this interior inspires you!

The Team at Cimmermann

Robin Day – Designer in Focus

ROBIN DAY (1915 – 2010) and his textile designer wife LUCIENNE (1917 – 2010) transformed British design after World War II by pioneering a new modern idiom. He experimented with new materials in inexpensive furniture for manufacturers like Hille and more recently Loft.

As Britain’s most celebrated designer couple of the post-war era, Robin and Lucienne Day were – and are still – often compared to their US contemporaries, Charles and Ray Eames. However, their working practice was quite different. Whereas the Eames designed as a team, the Days mostly worked independently in separate fields. Placed side by side, Robin’s furniture and Lucienne’s furnishings are remarkably harmonious in ethos and aesthetic, reflecting the creative synergy between them. But it is important not to blur their identity and achievements. Assessed individually, the Days are both towering figures in their own right.

Like many architects and designers during the optimistic post-war period, the Days believed in the transformative power of modern design to make the world a better place. They rose to prominence during the 1951 Festival of Britain, which provided an ideal showcase for their talents. Lucienne’s arresting abstract-patterned textiles and wallpapers were displayed alongside Robin’s steel and plywood furniture in the Homes and Gardens Pavilion. Robin also designed the furniture for the Royal Festival Hall.

His furniture designs include the iconic Polo Chair. A true Design Classic, the Polo Chair with its many distinctive holes and range of bright colours. It is available with 4 different bases – the Skid BaseSled, 5 Star Office and 4 legged base versions. Available in 9 different shell colours and 4 different leg finishes it is also suitable for outdoor use. These chairs are still made in the UK on the original machine Robin Day designed in the 1970’s. Prices start from £80 which is amazing for such an iconic piece of furniture design.

Robin Day - Polo Chairs
Polo Chair in actors dressing rooms in an undisclosed location…
Polo Chair in restaurant setting
Polo chair is great for restaurant’s or cafes
Robin Day - Polo Chairs outdoors
Polo Chairs – perfect for the Outdoors
Polo chairs at the Barbican
Polo chairs and stools at the iconic Barbican in London
Robin Day Polo Chair and Vintage Desk
Polo Chair in Light Blue with a vintage desk – very cool
Polo Chairs in orange
Polo Chairs in orange
Polo Chairs
Retro looking yellow Polo Chairs – look at that floor, beautiful!

Few pieces of furniture combine the style and comfort of the Club Chair and Club Sofa. In 1962, Robin Day designed the Club range as Britains’ original “cube sofa” and the club chair was created as a modern take on the classic chesterfield design. The club range is 100% handmade in the UK.

Robin Day - Club 2 Seater Sofa
Club 2 Seater Sofa covered in Paul Smith fabric
Club sofa and footstool  by Robin Day
Club Sofa and footstool in green wool

Robin Day’s Leo chair gained iconic status when James Bond (Sean Connery) sat in one in the film You Only Live Twice (1967). The Leo chair and ottoman is made in England and is available in a range of leathers and fabrics.

Sean Connery in a Robin Day Leo Chair
Sean Connery in a Robin Day Leo Chair
Leo Chair and Ottoman on a swivel Base
Leo Chair and Ottoman on a swivel Base

Robin Day was more than a designer and we are proud to work closely with Loft to sell his designs to discerning buyers of all ages.

the team at Cimmermann

Credits:

Design Museum

Modernist Homes in the UK – the best

Good quality Modernist houses in the UK are not always as accessible as some of their Victorian or Edwardian counterparts. Modernist living is a way of live offering a clean, uncluttered and bright lifestyle.

We have noted some of the most notable and outstanding examples of Modernist living this country has to offer –

Homewood

This extraordinary early 20th-century country villa is a masterpiece of Modernist design, in the midst of a picturesque woodland garden not far from Esher in Surrey. It was designed by the architect Patrick Gwynne for his family – his father, mother, sister and himself – and completed in the early summer of 1938. Gwynne lived in the house for the rest of his life, continuing to keep the building fashionably up-to-date until his death in 2003. His friend, the architect Sir Denys Lasdun, observed that The Homewood was ‘the great love of Patrick’s life’. Homewood is now in the hands of the National trust.

Modernist Dream - Homewood
Homewood now owned by the National Trust
The Modernist Homewood from the beautiful gardens
Homewood from the beautiful gardens
Homewood
Stunning interior with great views from Homewood
Farnley Hey

Farnley Hey is one of Britain’s most celebrated Modernist houses. This four-bedroom home with spectacular views over the Pennines was designed by the architect Peter Womersley in 1954 as a wedding present to his brother. Maintained in remarkably original condition, it is a magnificent example of Mid-Century Modern architecture. It was one of the first post-war buildings to be listed (Grade II), with English Heritage commenting that:

“In style Farnley Hey suggests the influence of Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, brought to a dramatic site in the Pennines. It typifies the best of the 1950s in its lightness, sense of the picturesque and optimistic stance.”

Farnley Hey is much documented in books and journals, with attention drawn to the large floor-to-ceiling windows that bring light flooding into the house as well as giving wonderful far-reaching views. Also much admired is Womersley’s exuberant use of materials – from camphorwood and York-stone flags for flooring to the lemon-yellow Formica panels.

Interior of Farnley Hey - glass windows mean lots of light
Interior of Farnley Hey – glass windows mean lots of light
Stunning exterior of Farnley Hey
Stunning exterior of Farnley Hey
Farnley Hey
Farnley Hey – love this text

 2 Willow Road

This unique Modernist home was designed by architect Ernö Goldfinger in 1939 for himself and his family. With surprising design details that were ground-breaking at the time and still feel fresh today, the house also contains the Goldfingers’ impressive collection of modern art, intriguing personal possessions and innovative furniture. A stunning house that epitomises the Modernist style. Willow Road is now owned and managed by the National Trust.

Willow Road designed by Erno Goldfinger
The amazing facade of Willow Road designed by Erno Goldfinger

 

Barbican Estate

The Barbican Estate is a residential estate designed by Chamberlin Powell & Bon and was built during the 1960s and the 1970s in the City of London in an area once devastated by World War II bombings. It contains, or is adjacent to, the Barbican Arts Centre. Not for everyone this concrete masterpiece is on a monstrous scale and sums up Brutalist Architecture. The residential estate consists of 3 tower blocks, 13 terrace blocks, 2 mews and The Postern, Wallside and Milton Court. It was given Grade II listed status in 2001. The apartments in the Barbican are extremely desirable and demand extremely high prices.

Cromwell tower on the barbican Estate
Cromwell tower on the Barbican Estate
Barbican Tower
Barbican Tower
Barbican internal gardens and water features, concrete living within an oasis of calm
Barbican internal gardens and water features offer an oasis of calm amongst all the concrete
Cool interior of a Barbican apartment courtesy of the Modern house - http://www.themodernhouse.net/sales-list/barbican-london-ec2y/description-817/
Cool interior of a Barbican apartment courtesy of the Modern house – http://www.themodernhouse.net/sales-list/barbican-london-ec2y/description-817/

 

Barbican in the Summer Sun looks stunning
Barbican in the Summer Sun looks stunning
Barbican sign - iconic font
Barbican sign – iconic font

Span Housing

Span Developments was a development company formed in 1957 by architect Eric Lyons and property developers Geoffrey Townsend and Leslie Bilsby. According to early promotional literature, the name was derived from the intention ‘to span the gap between the suburban monotony of the typical speculative development and the architecturally designed, individually built residence that has become (for all but a few) financially unattainable’. Span was seeking to bring modern architecture to middle class, middle income people, at a time when in Britain at least, modern architecture was either for large council estates or one-off houses for the very wealthy. Span houses can be said to be ‘modern’ in their use of new construction techniques and features such as open plan interiors, large windows and flat roofs. However, the use of materials such as brick, tile-hung walls and timber panelling show the intention to create housing more in keeping with the context and traditions of the English suburbs.

Span focused on building small estates in leafy surroundings on the suburban outskirts of cities. Span encountered many problems with planners, however, Lyon’s determination to defy the planners eventually won through, and he was rewarded with around 20 housing medals from the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. But it’s the continued success of these developments into the 21st century that is the true testament to Span’s vision for modern housing.

Span house Entrance
Entrance of a Span House, love the floor
Glass detail in a Span House
Glass detail in a Span House
Span Housing
A selection of Span Houses designed by Eric Lyons
Span Westfield
Span westfield in the British winter
Modernist Span Westfield housing in Surrey
Modernist Span Westfield housing in Surrey

 Modernist houses are truly stunning when well designed, just wish there was more of them!!!

The Team at Cimmermann

Images and Credits:

http://span-westfield.co.uk/

http://davidfern.com/project/span-house/

http://www.themodernhouse.net/sales-list/barbican-london-ec2y/description-817/

http://www.saatchionline.com/art/Photography-Geometry-Geology-Barbican-Estate-London-Limited-Edition-Print-1-of-5/418837/1588015/view

http://www.writtleart.org/RobertR/blog/?attachment_id=78

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbican_Estate

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesstringer/3423349596/

http://midcenturymagazine.com/interiors/homewood-modernist-masterpiece-patrick-gywnne/

http://jillpaider.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/homewood-surrey-uk.html

http://brutalismandbooze.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/3-willow-road-hampstead-london-nw3.html

http://dicky-bird.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/homewood-surrey.html

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/549087379539106503/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephencole1974/6150967082/

http://www.themodernhouse.net/sales-list/farnley-hey-farnley-tyas/description-817/

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/2_Willow_Road