The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Rare post-war house saved from demolition

The Twentieth Century Society is pleased to hear that Birkin Haward’s innovative house, The Spinney, has been listed at Grade II by English Heritage. The listing, prompted by the Society, has ensured the survival of the property, which was under threat of demolition. Ipswich Borough Council, recognising the importance of the house, served a Building Preservation Order to give EH time to assess the house.

Designed and built for himself and his family in Ipswich, The Spinney is a rare design of an individual house by Haward. Deceptively simple in design the key space is a large wood-lined central hall, lit by a long light-well in the ceiling. Virtually intact in every detail, the house is a dramatic and stylish building that was influential on many architects.

In recommending the building for listing English Heritage noted the national significance of Haward’s work as a chief assistant to Erich Mendelsohn in the 1930s and for his work on schools in the East of England in the post-war period.

Praising the house for its imaginative and accomplished use of materials English Heritage have here again underlined the fact that the post-war period produced some of the most exciting and imaginative domestic architecture in UK architectural history.