Staying at Anderton House in North Devon these last few days reminded me of visits that I have recently made to Modernist houses and also sleeping in the single study bedroom took me back to my student days at Hull University in the 1970s.
2, Willow Road, NW3, 1939 [National Trust]
The Villa Savoye, 1928-1931
The Lawns, student residences, Cottingham near Hull [Source]
The Lawns was built in the 1960s and I lived there for two years between 1970 and 1972. The Villa Savoye, High Cross House and 2, Willow Road were both built in the 1930s and seemed way ahead of their time. Even more ahead of their time are the American houses designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright, an influence on the architect of Anderton House, Peter Aldington.
Here is how the Landmark Trust introduce Anderton House (above) on their website and their justification (if any were needed) for adding this unusual property to their portfolio:
“Anderton House appeals to anyone who enjoys modern architecture or wishes to be transported back to the 1970s. The integration of inside and outside spaces makes the open plan living area a grandstand for the changing lights on the Devon hills beyond. A large open plan kitchen, dining and sitting area are carefully planned on two levels with furnishings that evoke the period.
The Sitting Area
Dining Area overlooked by the Kitchen
Original black and white photos of Anderton House (reproduced in “Aldington, Craig and Collinge” by Alan Powers)
For all its modernity, Anderton House is as much at home in the rolling Devon landscape it overlooks as the longhouses that inspired its profile. It is an exceptional example of uncompromisingly modern design executed in simple materials. The roof appears to float cleverly over the spacious open plan living area with its sliding glass walls. The house retains all its contemporary materials and detailing and is furnished to match.
The Hall linking ‘public’ with ‘private’ areas
Photo of the Hall from the Kitchen in “Aldington, Craig and Collinge”
Buildings of any age can find themselves at risk. As a building designed by a living architect, Anderton House was a new departure for us when we acquired it in 2000. We chose it for all the reasons we usually apply to older buildings and happily caught it before changing tastes had been allowed to blur its clean lines or site drainage problems to damage its fabric. It is listed Grade II*.”
Even before staying here I had always thought it an excellent choice.