The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

C20 Holiday Stays

The Ellis-Miller House, Prickwillow, Ely, Cambridgeshire

Sleeps: 2

The Ellis Miller House

Copyright Ellis Miller

1991

EllisMiller Architects

Sleeps 2

This exceptional steel and glass house overlooks the fens with distant views of Ely Cathedral

Elain Harwood, author and architectural historian with Historic England, writes in C20’s book, ‘100 Buildings 100 Years’: “The Fens resemble California only in their wide skies.  Jonathan Ellis-Miller, raised in Norfolk, nevertheless chose to build a steel-framed houses after completing his training at the University of Liverpool.  He was working for John Winter (renowned for his knowledge and enthusiasm for the American modernist style) 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.

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