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Latitude: 52.2178 / 52°13'3"N
Longitude: 0.771 / 0°46'15"E
OS Eastings: 589389
OS Northings: 261347
OS Grid: TL893613
Mapcode National: GBR RGL.XC6
Mapcode Global: VHKDC.9JY6
Entry Name: Numbers 2, 3 and 4 and Linking Painted Walls
Listing Date: 22 December 1998
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1051044
English Heritage Legacy ID: 471958
Location: Rushbrooke with Rougham, St. Edmundsbury, Suffolk, IP30
District: St. Edmundsbury
Civil Parish: Rushbrooke with Rougham
Traditional County: Suffolk
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk
Church of England Parish: Rushbrooke St Nicholas
Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich
TL 86 SE RUSHBROOKE POPLAR MEADOW
Nos. 2, 3 and 4 and linking
Three linked cottages. Commissioned 1950, built 1952-6 by Llewelyn Davies and Weeks, job architect John Weeks, executive architect Michael Huckstepp, for Lord Rothschild. White-painted brick on black-painted brick plinths; slate roofs largely treated as monopitches, short stacks. Single storey with storage loft. Mirrored pair of 'L'-shaped two-bedroom cottages built 1952-5 linked by a wall, now concealing garages, linked to further smaller cottage, added in 1955-6 and subsequently extended by Weeks in the same idiom. All have large shed areas for storing tools and muddy boots. The main houses based on a rectangle 56ft wide by 33ft deep, with central spine, from which sections are then cut away to provide a picturesque but coherent composition. All houses arranged along the linking wall, which continues as the spine through them. Black timber doors, the front doors to the houses with glazed panels, those to the sheds are solid. Timber windows painted black, their opening lights painted white. Door-height vertical strip windows to side of front door. Large closely mullioned windows to the first floor stores. Interiors not of special interest. No. 4 bears the plaque of the West Suffolk County Council Architectural Award for 1957. The black and white painted idiom is widely used in Suffolk and the materials are traditional, yet Rushbrooke is wholly modern in its planning and design. Richard Llewelyn Davies and John Weeks were commissioned in 1950 to build estate cottages for Lord Rothschild, whom Llewelyn Davies had met when studying at Trinity College, Cambridge, in the 1930s. The linking wall defined a sense of enclosure, from which the orthogonal plans developed. The mirrored pair of larger cottages were built as a prototype for a scheme to rebuild most of the village (q.v. The Hamlet). The judge for the West Suffolk County Council Award, Sir Leslie Martin, said that they showed 'what interesting architecture can be produced by the use of traditional materials ... The imaginative use of traditional form has produced houses that are advanced in design. They provide an outstanding lesson in town planning. They demonstrate how a pair, a group, or even a street of individual houses can achieve the unity which has been common in the past, but which has been completely lost in most present-day developments' (RIBA Journal, December 1957). The smaller cottage introduced modifications and improvements, for example a modified ridge detail. Though built to a higher specification than public housing, the development of a coherently planned 'house type' and strong visual idiom was much admired at the time. Rushbrooke also broke the established imagery of post-war rural housing. Its ideas ran closely parallel to, but slightly anticipated, the research of the English group of CIAM (the international research group on modern architecture with a particular interest in housing and planning) in 1955, or slightly later. These ideas, by Bill Howell and John Partridge, James Stirling, Alison and Peter Smithson and John Voelcker, were also widely published and were influential in some of these architects' later low-rise high-density schemes for urban areas. They show how the pragmatic modernism of Rushbrooke was to become a powerful force in housing design in the later 1960s and 1970s. 'Simple, single-storey white painted brick houses sited around an open space and with fences and paths designed by the architect, it made it clear to everyone that, in the hands of a skilled architect, a very ordinary brief and a modest budget could result in a real sense of place. Co-inciding with the Architectural Review's Outrage issues, dealing with the lack of any sense of place in the housing developments of the time, the Rushbrooke scheme was admired as one of the few developments which felt like a real place' John Winter, in Contemporary Architects, third edition, 1994.
Listing NGR: TL8938961347
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