The Homewood

Patrick Gwynne and Wells Coates, Esher, 1939


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The south facade, seen from the garden. The view clearly shows the concrete framed structure of the main wing of the house, dividing the south facade into five equal bays 

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  • The south facade, seen from the garden. The view clearly shows the concrete framed structure of the main wing of the house, dividing the south facade into five equal bays    
  • The ground floor walls are of Kentish stock bricks and the upper walls and columns of concrete painted ivory white    
  • View from the south-west showing the large windows of the dining-room opening on to the balcony and stairs to the garden    
  • View from the south-east, looking into the covered terrace beneath the living-room    
  • Aerial view showing well-screened situation of the house and the layout of entrance drives and terraces    
  • Staircase hall section of the building which links the two wings    
  • The front door, leading direct on to the covered drive-in, is surrounded by glass-brick walling. The far wall is of matt-surfaced dark red tiles, four inches square    
  • The ground floor staircase hall and first floor landing form a link between the two wings of the plan    
  • The large living room which, with the dining room separated from it by folding doors, runs the whole length of the main wing of the house    
  • View showing the opposite wall with its cupboards fitted with maple tambour doors. The edges and interiors of the cupboards are painted pale blue. The wall panelling is of French walnut. The fireplace at the far end is set in a frame of Levanto marble    
  • The dining room. The sideboard fitment in the far wall connects with the servery. The balcony on the left has a spiral stair leading to the roof-terrace. The dining table and chairs are of sycamore and Brazilian rosewood, with dark red upholstery    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Perspective of the north elevation    
  • The east elevation    
  • The south elevation    
  • The west elevation    
  • The stair link    
  • The terrace and garden    
  • Views from the site    
  • Views from the site    
  • Ground floor analysis    
  • First floor analysis    
  • Ground floor structure    
  • Diagram of Plan Units    
  • The dining room is designed as a continuation of the living roomseparable by means of a folding partition    
  • The bedroom    
  • The dressing room    
  • The boudoir    
  • The terrace and garden    
  • The  living room configuration in the summer    
  • The  living room configuration in the winter    
  • The fitted wall integrates furnature within the structure    
  • The Service Quarter    
  • Alternative types of layout    
  • The concrete superstructure - Main block    
  • The concrete superstructure - East wing    
  • Finishing materials - Main block    
  • Finishing materials - East wing    

Modernist country house in Surrey built for the architect's parents

Homewood was built to replace a dated Victorian house on an eight acre estate in Esher, Surrey. Citing Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Tugendhat House as influences, architect Patrick Gwynne designed within the strict modernist boundaries.

Although the house has two storeys all the principle rooms occupy the upper floor. The ground level consists of the entrance lobby, study, garage and servicing. All of the living spaces are located upstairs, with nine bedrooms, an expansive living room and kitchen and bathroom facilities separated into an east wing and the main block.

The house has a concrete superstructure, with a floating concrete slab of the whole ground level of the house, which carries the brick walling. The walling is entirely non-structural with the actual structure a reinforced concrete frame with vertical members passing through the floating slab.

Homewood is made from man-made materials and lacks any form of ornament. All furniture was designed by Gynne himself for the house.


  • Completed: 1939
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £10,000
  • Address: The Homewood, Portsmouth Road, Esher, KT10 9JL, United Kingdom

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