Description: Creekvean and Attached Entrance Bridge and Walls to Road
Date Listed: 15 July 1998
English Heritage Building ID: 469653
OS Grid Reference: SW8268038676
OS Grid Coordinates: 182680, 38676
Latitude/Longitude: 50.2081, -5.0470
SW 82673867 FEOCK
Creekvean and attached entrance
bridge and walls to road
House. 1964-7 by Team 4 (Norman and Wendy Foster, Richard and Su Rogers) for Marcus and Rene Brumwell, the latter's parents. Laurie Abbott, assistant architect, Anthony Hunt, engineer. 'Forticrete' concrete block, with glazing fixed in neoprene gaskets. Flat roofs, the lower one planted with garden and the upper paved but also with inset planting boxes. Building set in two masses, one housing the principal living spaces, the other the bedrooms linked by a broad passage designed as an art gallery, placed below the level of the hill. Entrance, from road over small bridge, divides the two masses of the house, both displaying unwindowed concrete block walls to the street. The entrance door is in the two- storey left hand block in a wall set obliquely, and the direction of the entrance continues down a flight of planted steps to garden level. Two-storey block presents two rows of windows with yellow-painted edge of concrete floor towards creek, with a stair giving access to roof terrace. The lower block has sloping clerestory against rear wall with continuous glazing towards creek. All external doors frameless glass. Interior. Floors and stairs of riven blue slate. Stairs from entrance lead up to upper level living room, with gallery to kitchen below, and down to kitchen, which has free-standing stainless steel service unit (on concrete base) with rounded ends. Fixed ladder-like steps of slate lead to roof terrace. From the kitchen-dining room a top-lit gallery provides space for hanging pictures and gives access to three bedrooms. Largest bedroom has built-in bookcases and door on to stairs. Central bedroom has mirrored wall with fitted wardrobe and doors to dressing room and bathroom. End bedroom with free-standing concrete L-shaped bed-head unit, bookcase and cupboards. Sliding doors between the bedrooms and gallery. The forticrete left exposed save in the guest lavatory under the staircase, which is rendered.
Bridge links entrance with road, and angled walls to either side are an integral part of the composition. Sign, 'Creekvean' on one of these walls by Joe Brumwell; inside the house another plaque by Brumwell, of slate, commemorates the architects, engineer and builders.
Built as a permanent home for Marcus Brumwell, founder of the Design Research Unit, and for Rene Brumwell, overlooking a small creek in Falmouth Harbour. The orientation towards the view governs the plan, and the steep site governs the section. It was the first built work by Norman and Wendy Foster and Richard Rogers, with Su Rogers and Georgie Wolton (Team 4), and an example of the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright on Rogers following his return from studying at Yale. It is a building that is perfectly of its time, but one that is particularly novel in its scale and plan. It does, however, portend significant developments in modern architecture that its young architects were soon to lead, for example in its early use of neoprene gaskets and other modern materials. Sources:
Architectural Review (August 1968) p95-96.
Norman Foster, 'Team 4 and Foster Associates', Buildings and Projects Vol. 1 1964-73 (1991) p34-4S. Bryan Appleyard, 'Richard Rogers, a biography' (London 1986) pps 111-112,116-119. Kenneth Powell, , Richard Rogers, Works I', Phaidon 1999, pp.32-37
Listing NGR: SW8268038676
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.