While Alison and Peter Smithson's famous Robin Hood Gardens is being demoed and redeveloped, an earlier, much smaller project by the late architect pair has been listed for sale. Designed for Arup acoustic engineer Derek Sugden and his wife, Jean, the modest two-story house in Watford, England, is listed for £1,200,000 (about $1.6 million USD) by estate agency The Modern House.
The Sugden House was listed as Grade II in 2012, and, according to the heritage listing, the built house was not the first the architects designed for the site. The Sugdens reportedly declined an initial design by Alison featuring a butterfly roof, and later accepted Peter's revised proposal with a gabled roof and an opposite plan orientation to the one Alison had floated. In the agreed-upon scheme, Alison focused on the interior and Jean worked on the landscaping.
On the exterior, metal casement windows are arranged in L-shapes on the brick façade. The ground floor contains four exterior entry points, in addition to a garage, and features the house's living spaces and a half bathroom. Loliondo teak strip floors run throughout the downstairs, with polyvinyl tiling in the kitchen and dining area and hall. The ceiling features exposed Columbian pine joists. Upstairs, the house's four bedrooms highlight the gabled roofline, which is lined on the interior with french-polished Columbian matchboard.
"[T]he design of the completed house combines the visionary aesthetic of the Smithsons with the indelible stamp of their clients," notes the heritage listing. "The superficial simplicity of the exterior treatment belies the subtle nuances of the design, expressed particularly in the form and arrangement of the windows."
Jean died in 2007, according to The Guardian, and Derek remained living in the house until his death in 2015. Whoever buys this house will be only the second owner in the house's 61-year history.