DescriptionLutyens’s plan for the Central Square of the Hampstead Garden Suburb placed his three major buildings – St Jude-on-the-Hill, the Free Church, and The Institute – in the three linked squares surrounding the Central Square. Residential blocks would surround the North and South Squares and would progress along Erskine Hill and Heathgate, leading into the Central Square. The Manse for the Free Church and the Vicarage for St. Jude’s would visually connect the churches with these houses. The Manse and Vicarage were built according to Lutyens’s plans as well as some of the houses along Erskine Hill (1, 3, 5, and 7). Of the houses, intended to line the perimeter of each square, only 1-8 North Square can be directly credited to Lutyens. His exterior design was implemented, although the interiors were replanned. These eight homes are tied together into one cohesive building that defines one corner around the North Square.
The materials of the houses tie into the larger buildings of the Central Square ensemble – silver-grey Collier brick, red brick accents, and handmade roofing tiles. The wooden balustrades, although in a different material, relate in style to the stone balustrade on The Institute. Chimneys punctuate the design and proclaim the domestic nature of the building. Lutyens was forced to abide by several stipulations imposed by Henrietta Barnett. The roof ridge had to be continuous and the level of the cornice had to be consistent with the cornice line of the two churches. Perhaps as a protest against these constraints, Lutyens produced an energetic façade with an array of detailing. Each entrance received its own original treatment and the building steps forward and back with bays and blocks. Multiple window sizes and shapes are utilized, and the roofline is pierced by dormers and parapets. Balustrades, brick niches, and iron railings further ornament the façade. Miller notes that “on the level north side, Lutyens demonstrates to us four ways of adding a third storey – in the wall, on the wall, in the roof, and on the parapet.”
Just past the corner, next the 5 North Square, Lutyens designed an impressive archway and tunnel leading to the back garden. The archway is classically detailed in rusticated stone with details such as an oversized keystone and “disappearing” or “ghost” pilasters reminiscent of Italian Mannerism. As with the balustrades, this elevated detail once again connects the building with the grander scale of The Institute. (Contributor: Robyn Prater)
Also Cited InCherry B & Pevsner N (1998) LONDON 4: NORTH. The Buildings of England. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Weaver, L. (1913) Houses and Gardens by E L Lutyens. London: Country Life.