Sugden House

Alison and Peter Smithson, Hertfordshire, 1956


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

South east elevation 

Toomey, Arphot     Download Original

  • South east elevation    
  • South west elevation    
  • Covered yard from the west    
  • French window from living room    
  • View across the ground floor    
  • Living and dining room    
  • Kitchen from dining room    
  • Kitchen from garden door    
  • Kitchen    
  • Stairwell    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Section    

Atypical brick and tile house, which experiments with form, planning and the use of standard components

The house sits on the northern edge of a residential estate in Watford. As such, its design was regulated by a series of restrictions governing materials and form. These restrictions included the obligatory use of second-hand London stock bricks, dark red tiles, and standard metal windows.

Conceived as a single block of material, the brick walls merge with the tiled roof, which sweeps down over an attached garage and covered yard. Windows pierce this mass in locations dictated by the function of interior spaces, rather than by any aesthetic desire for symmetry in elevation.

Internally, the living, dining and kitchen spaces flow into one another either side of an asymmetrically placed fireplace.

The architects developed standard components, repeated or grouped together with concern for the straightforward and economical use of materials.


  • Begun: 1955
  • Completed: 1956
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £25,000
  • Tender date: 1955
  • Address: 2 Farm Field, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 3DF, United Kingdom

Professional Team