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A Grade II Listed Building in Kingston, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8031 / 50°48'11"N

Longitude: -0.4627 / 0°27'45"W

OS Eastings: 508423

OS Northings: 101523

OS Grid: TQ084015

Mapcode National: GBR GL7.HV7

Mapcode Global: FRA 96XZ.3KB

Entry Name: Runnymede

Listing Date: 30 October 2003

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1419211

Location: Kingston, Arun, West Sussex, BN16

County: West Sussex

District: Arun

Civil Parish: Kingston

Built-Up Area: Worthing

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: St Mary East Preston

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

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Listing Text

Private House. 1936 by Wells Coates, builders E and L Berg. Steel frame, clad in steel sheeting, on concrete foundations and with plaster wall finishes. Flat roofs. Near-diamond shaped plan of two storeys and roof-top room, the upper floor set behind balconies - with curved prow and flanking single-storey wings facing south across the sea. Entrance on north side facing the road has two storey wing. Flat roofs accessed from small room or lobby which incorporates stack. International modern style. Windows replaced within original surrounds, save where concealed behind later screens to balcony. Balcony supported on narrow columns. Interior never had features of special interest.

This is a rare example of a Sunspan House, and forms a strong group with Sea Lane House, the modern movement house by Yorke and Breuer already listed.

Wells Coates was 'the father-figure of the English modern movement' (Cohn), and one of the first architects to building a pure modern style. His engineering background led him to become the first British modernism to exploit the possibilities of prefabrication, when he designed the Sunspan House as a kit to be assembled by builders. The idea of prefabrication and easy-assembly was one of the important tenets of modernism: the idea of putting an architect-designed house within as easy reach of the population as a motor car. The design developed out of the Isotype studies made as part of his design of the Lawn Road flats (grade I) in Camden, London. The critic Philip Morton Shand, writing in the Architects' Journal, considered the Sunspan House 'perhaps the first serious English contribution to domestic planning forms since that famous discovery of the "free, open planning " of the English country house took the Continent by storm at the beginning of this century.' However, very few examples were built, and this survivor remains important, despite its alteration, and additionally has strong group value with its modern neighbour.

Architects' Journal, 26 April 1934
Sherban Cantacuzino, Wells Coates, A Monograph, London, Gordon Fraser, 1978.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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