The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Detail of facade Photo © Tim Soar, courtesy EllisMiller Architects
Exterior Photo © Tim Soar, courtesy EllisMiller Architects
Interior Photo © Tim Soar, courtesy EllisMiller Architects

100 Buildings 100 Years

1991: Ellis-Miller House, Prickwillow, Cambridgeshire

Status: Unlisted
Condition: Good condition
Type: Housing
Architect: EllisMiller Architects
Location: 1a Kingdon Avenue, Prickwillow, Ely, Cambridgeshire

The Fens resemble California only in their wide skies. Ellis-Miller, raised in Norfolk, nevertheless chose to build a steel-framed house after completing his training at the University of Liverpool. He was working for John Winter, whose influence is seen in the three-bay steel frame, one bay left open as a car port, with white chosen to contrast with the black fens.

The central bay houses the living room and kitchen, and the other the study and bedroom/bathrooms. The front elevation is glazed to maximise the distant view of Ely Cathedral, while the others combine glass with profiled steel, which also lines the ceilings and internal partitions. The main and kitchen door are adjacent, so Ellis-Miller could enter one door and his muddy Dalmatian, Hector, the other.

The tiny house is simply and coolly elegant, reviving enthusiasm for cheap, architect-designed houses and leading to further commissions. It can now be rented for holidays.

by Elain Harwood

EllisMiller Architects

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