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No. 79 Lovelace Avenue, Solihull

Description: No. 79 Lovelace Avenue

Grade: II
Date Listed: 23 May 2003
English Heritage Building ID: 1408522

OS Grid Reference: SP1597678065
OS Grid Coordinates: 415975, 278062
Latitude/Longitude: 52.4003, -1.7666

Locality: Solihull
County: Solihull
Country: England
Postcode: B91 3JR

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Listing Text

House. 1955-59. D. Rosslyn Harper of Yorke, Harper and Harvey for himself. Brick in stretcher bond with flush vertical mortar joints and recessed horizontal mortar joints. Oak boards to upper storey. Windows are casements with slender wood mullions, small square fixed panes and frameless plate glass windows to corners where the sheets are chamfered and butted together at the corners. 2-storey slim rectangular range under hipped roof with deep eaves having timber detailed soffits, and supported on brick corner piers at ground floor, with flat cantilevered roof between storeys. Single-storey advanced garage under similar cantilevered roof in a different plane. Frank Lloyd Wright 'Prairie' house inspired style.
ELEVATIONS: SOUTH, main elevation with flat cantilever to left corner and void beneath, then wide bay window with 6 casement lights, one double and fixed, divided by slender timber mullions, and all on low brick wall with low brick planting box advancing further. To centre, a narrow stretch of brick wall with 4 square lights arranged vertically. Advanced from this, the entrance passage under the deep cantilevered overhang of the garage ('car-port') roof with brick wall to right punctuated by recessed brick detail, and high brick planting box to left (forming L with that already described), culminating in discrete main entrance with glass door. Above the flat roof are ribbon clerestory windows with brick at corners, then a band of horizontal timber boards to base of first floor. Above this, the first floor has a single and double light frameless window to left and right with corner treatment as described above. Between these a band of vertical boards with similar square lights to centre, arranged 4-over-4. Central short brick chimney to ridge. WEST elevation with advanced section of 6-light casements, that to centre double and fixed, on low wall. Brick partition wall at left to cantilevered roof that extends broadly to each side, supported to left by slender timber column, to right a true cantilever with terrace of 3 shallow steps to the garden below. Above the flat roof, 3 ribbon clerestory windows with top of brick piers to sides, then continued horizontal boarding at base of first floor. To right, 2-light corner window as continued from front, and to left, a single light that continues to rear. NORTH elevation with mostly continuous brick wall at ground floor punctuated by 4 square lights to kitchen, and opening to service space. The flat roof here has a shallow overhang supported on slender steel column at each corner. First floor similarly detailed with horizontal boarding at base of first floor (set back from brick wall below) and with corner windows each of 2 lights, vertical boarding as at front between, and a wide undivided window to centre. EAST elevation similar to rear with advanced brick wall at ground floor, and wide window with central square fixed light flanked by 2 pairs of single light casements. To left, the wall advances slightly and extends forming outside garage wall, slightly lower and under a separate and lower flat roof. Deep overhang to the front of the open garage with stepped plywood soffit.
INTERIOR MATERIALS: Walls mostly polished vertical boards with faceted-head nails, and brick interior walls similarly detailed to exterior. Below ribbon clerestory windows is horizontal band at cornice level with triangular projecting lights in main rooms. Ceilings of unpolished square plywood panels. Radiators behind wood doors with lattice vents. Wood interior doors and casements have brass hardware. Built-in wooden seating, desks, and shelving in most rooms, and 3 bedrooms with hidden pull-down single beds. Cornice to first floor detailed with repeated square panels incised with geometric motif, some sections of which pull down to provide ventilation.
GROUND FLOOR: Entrance vestibule has 3 steps to central hall, doors of which to right lead to bathroom at front and main bedroom to rear, a connecting internal door joining them. Main bedroom has ribbon clerestory window to rear wall above built-in cupboard. Pair of dressing rooms with built-in cupboards and dressing table with drawers and cupboards below. Central stair with 3 winders at base, behind a low wood wall, and with small 'greenhouse' in the wall, operated from above by pulleys, separating base of stair from living room. Living room has brick hearth with piers at sides, angled back to centre, and with V-plan brick projection to centre holding the flue. Rear wall with clerestory lights above the cornice band with triangular projecting light fittings, internal window to kitchen and built-in bench seating below. Frosted glass door on swinging hinges to rear galley kitchen under the extended flat roof. Built-in bench seating within which some storage to the 2 bay windows.
FIRST FLOOR: Stair to first floor has brick wall to left and wood wall to right, at mid-point a plywood panel with signature pencil sketch of one of the builders. Corridor to rear of first floor. To right, bathroom with glazed pale blue panelling to walls and similar cornice detail to hall. Bedroom to front with built-in cupboards, desk and pull-down single bed within the wall, flush and with discrete handles. To left of first floor, a pair of bedrooms divided by a flexible partition that was housed in the wooden cupboard that also accommodates wardrobe. Cornice as in hall, built-in shallow shelving, and 2 pull-down single beds similarly housed to other bedroom. Small room at centre front with pulley for small glasshouse below, ladder access to loft, and lit by the small square windows central to the facade.

House of 1955-59 by D. Rosslyn Harper of Yorke, Harper and Harvey for himself. It interprets and translates Frank Lloyd Wright's early-C20 'Prairie' houses to the English Midlands with highly effective horizontality pronounced through the massing and materials, a plan featuring central hearth, 'car-port', and clear relationship to the garden, and well-detailed brick, timber and glass.

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.