Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1022575

Date first listed: 05-Jan-1998

Statutory Address: 411, WAKE GREEN ROAD


Ordnance survey map of 411, WAKE GREEN ROAD
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Statutory Address: 411, WAKE GREEN ROAD

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Birmingham (Metropolitan Authority)

National Grid Reference: SP 09798 81389


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Reasons for Designation

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997/12/10156 Number 411 (odd)


DESCRIPTION Prefab with shed and Anderson shelter, and fence to front. Erected under the Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act by the Ministry of Works, the City Council supplying the site and foundations. Phoenix design, a welded steel tube frame clad in cream-painted corrugated asbestos sheeting with internal timber lining and partitions. Shallow-pitched corrugated asbestos roof with felt covering, central apex and low-chimney. One storey. The dimensions of the prototype Portal bungalow of 1944 were adopted (32'4" by 21'3"), as were its provision of two bedrooms to left of hall, living room to right and the standard Portal kitchen and bathroom unit, which was delivered ready assembled to site. Timber windows with metal opening casements and toplights, the living rooms to right with distinctive double casements mirrored around central mullion. Central door under curved metal porch that is an idiosyncratic feature of the Phoenix design. Similar casement windows to rear. Shed and shelter at rear of identical date and similar construction. The interior was designed to be fully fitted at a time when furniture and kitchen fixtures were unavailable. Living room with fitted shelving, principal bedroom (at rear) with fitted cupboards. Kitchen, bathroom and separate WC fitted as a single unit, designed by the Ministry of Works, and some features remain.

HISTORY Some 2,428 Phoenix prefabs were erected in the UK as part of the Temporary Housing Programme, which erected about 156,623 temporary bungalows between 1944 and 1948. This was a scheme devised by Lord Portal, Minister of Works, to relieve the post-war housing shortage at a time when conventional materials were unavailable and wartime industries needed a new peacetime function. The Phoenix is one of the rarest of the eleven approved types, though one of the most substantially constructed. Modelled on the Portal prototype bungalow exhibited at the Tate Gallery in 1944 they are notable for their fully fitted interiors, which from the first included fitted kitchens (then still novel-ties), and for their careful layout. The bungalow erected under the Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act stand out from other prefabricated housing of the period because of their more carefully planned design, 1nternal f1xtures, the1r great h1stor1cal interest and by being detached.

ASSESSMENT The group of prefabs in Wake Green Road is an unusual surviving example of a rare variant of the Portal bungalow, and one st1ll more remarkable for 1tS exceptional state of preservation with few alterations. (The Builder: 7 September 1945: 195; Brenda Vale: Prefabs a History of the UK Temporary Housing Programme: London: -1995).

Listing NGR: SP0979881389


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 466945

Legacy System: LBS


Books and journals
Vale, B, Prefabs A History of the UK Temporary Housing Programme, (1995)
'The Builder' in 7 September, (1945), 195

End of official listing