The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Greenside, Virginia Water, Surrey

Connell, Ward and Lucas, 1937, Listed Grade II

Built in 1937, Greenside is an excellent example of private houses of this century and of the International Modern Style in Britain, and more
particularly a great work within the architects’ oeuvre [click here for images of the front and the rear of the house]. Pevsner praised the building for its “total design” as opposed to a few modern ideas applied to the basic English house’. The piano nobile sails above the ground floor, and is finished with a roof terrace. The cantilevered near central stairwell dominates the front elevation and creates an interesting complexity of volumes, making for an important building of great merit.

Connell, Ward & Lucas were pioneers of the Modern Movement in the UK, and were particularly influenced by the work of Le Corbusier. They contributed to the development of designs in concrete in this country, designing other renowned houses, namely High and Over, Amersham (Bucks), The White House, Grayswood (Surrey) and No. 66 Frognal, Camden, which are all Grade II* listed. There are few remaining examples of their work that are listed.

Greenside has suffered from severe neglect over the years. Having been refused permission to de-list the house last year, its owners now want to demolish it on the grounds that the house is beyond economic repair and unsuitable to modern needs. While there have been a great many alterations both internally and externally, we believe that if sold to the right owners for the right price, the house could be brought back to its former glory. The original aesthetics of the design are still present. Alas, this seems to be a case of the owners wanting to sell for the highest possible price, despite the qualityof the house.

Claire Barrett