6, BACON'S LANE WITH ATTACHED STEPS
- Heritage Category:
- Listed Building
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Statutory Address:
- 6, BACON'S LANE WITH ATTACHED STEPS
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- Statutory Address:
- 6, BACON'S LANE WITH ATTACHED STEPS
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Greater London Authority
- Camden (London Borough)
- National Grid Reference:
- TQ 28373 87237
Reasons for Designation
No. 6 Bacons Lane, built 1957-59, is designated for the following principal reasons: * It ranks among the most notable architect-designed private houses of the 1950s, designed by the distinguished architect Leonard Manasseh for himself and family. It was Manasseh's first work in the emerging New Brutalist genre; * Its complex plan and clever use of materials, makes it a critical example of the post-war architect-designed home, and a success as a small-scale, economically-built family home; * Its significance, which has been subsequently endorsed, was widely recognised and published at the time.
798-1/0/10256 BACON'S LANE WITH ATTACHED STEPS 10-AUG-09 Highgate 6
II Private house, 1957-59 by Leonard Manasseh for himself and his family.
MATERIALS: Salvaged stock brick from a church in Southgate, with exposed concrete floors, steep asbestos slate roofs with dormers and stove pipe. Timber windows have black pivoting opening lights (most replaced in the late 1990s with a comparable Danish system) and glazed timber doors have slate hanging to the side. Interior is of exposed pale sand-lime brick to principal storeys, timber linings to attics. Skirtings and plinths are of black glazed brick. Internal doors are flush teak veneered with ceramic handles, under an overlight. Slender chamfered softwood doorcases are framed in a narrow black painted timber fillet which masks the join between the door and wall. First floor floors are of 74 salvaged Victorian marble wash stands acquired in Portsmouth.
PLAN: Two storeys and attic, entered at half landing level via steps and with a lower entrance at semi-basement level, both in a projecting flat-roofed wing to the north. The steep pitched roof, unusual in the late 1950s, was a way of overcoming the limitations of a covenant on the site that restricted new building to two storeys, so that Manasseh could house his family of five children. The two pitches are unequal to give increased headroom in the architect's attic studio under a large dormer. The interior plan is complex. From the main entrance stairs go up to the principal first floor, double-height, sitting room and the main bedrooms. The main bedroom itself is subdivided from a bathroom by built-in cupboards. Stairs descend from the entrance to the kitchen-diner, which steps down to the attendant sitting room, originally designed as a playroom, which now opens onto the hallway and the garden door. Further bedrooms lead off the hallway. A steep open tread stair leads to the attic, at the end of which is a small studio in a gallery which is naturally lit on all sides (on the west by a large dormer window), and overlooks the sitting room. Landings and hallways are small so that the plan is extremely economical in its circulation space. Overlights over the internal doors allow 'borrowed' light into the landings and hallways.
EXTERIOR: Asymmetrical elevations have windows of various heights, some full storey height, but all hanging from the level of the sill above. The deep sill above the ground floor sitting room has an incised bird motif. A small concrete balcony projects from the first floor sitting room on the west elevation. A flat-roofed pod attached to the north elevation contains entrances at half landing and basement which are reached by external steps (these steps are included in the listing).
INTERIOR: The kitchen-diner is separated by a built-in dresser by Manasseh and David Wickham based on the Lundia system. Floors are tiled. The kitchen has its original built-in fittings. A step, in black brick, drops to the ground floor sitting room area. The first floor sitting room has a built-in brick seat adjacent to the stove and is floored in marble Victorian wash stands chosen for their convective properties. A thick cedar of Lebanon curtain rail forms a cornice to the room at the level of the top of built-in Lundia bookcases. A timber rail above bookshelves screen the studio balcony. Ceilings are lined in Slotec boarding to improve acoustics. The walls of the main bedroom are lined in horizontal butt-jointed 6-inch Cedar of Lebanon planks. Over the bed is a narrow horizontal window. Built-in cupboards here and elsewhere in the house have sliding plywood doors on nylon runners, strengthened with a metal or wooden fillet which acts as a handle; an economical practical solution. The ground floor bathroom floor is of reused brown marble washstands.
The contemporary red and black engineering brick paved garden is within the footprint of the kitchen garden of the original house (not listed). Within it is the statue of Youth by Daphne Hardy-Henrion for the Festival of Britain in 1951, and listed separately at Grade II.
HISTORY: Leonard Manasseh (b. 1916) studied at the Architectural Association, and in 1937 won the subsidiary News Chronicle schools competition. After war service, he worked for Hertfordshire County Council, Stevenage Development Corporation and on the Festival of Britain for which he designed the '51 Bar. He was in private practice from 1950 but he spent most of the 1950s teaching at the Architectural Association, where he was head of the preliminary school, that is, first year classes. Work for the London County Council in the early 1960s included Rutherford School, now Lower Marylebone School (1959-60), and listed Grade II*, and Furzedown Teachers' Training College, Tooting (1961-5). His most extensive commission was for the Montagu Motor Museum at Beaulieu, where he collaborated with the planner Elizabeth Chesterton.
No. 6 Bacon's Lane is the southernmost and most interesting of three houses built by Manasseh on the site of a large Victorian house which faced onto South Grove. Manasseh's own house stands on the site of the former kitchen garden, overlooking Highgate cemetery.
The development of surfaces 'as found' was one of the distinguishing marks of the New Brutalism, the distinctive movement of the 1950s espoused at the time by the slightly younger generation of the Smithsons, Stirling and Gowan, and Colin St John Wilson. This is Manasseh's first work in the genre and anticipates his Lower Marylebone School. The house somewhat resembles the house for Derek Sugden in Watford built by Alison and Peter Smithson in 1954-55, which was the first in Britain to use exposed brick and concrete aesthetically, taking this honestly expressed construction and hanging windows from Le Corbusier's Maison Jaoul (1954-56). Manasseh's house is more complex in its planning, use of levels and materials than the Sugden house. It has a quirky charm and humane domestic touch which is a defining feature of his work and not often seen in contemporary housing of this genre.
SOURCES: Architect and Building News, vol. 214, no.8, 20 August 1958, pp. 258-72 Architectural Design, vol.31, no. 4, April 1961, pp.159-62 International Asbestos Cement Review, vol. 6, no.4, (24) October 1961 House and Garden, vol.17, no.3 (157), March 1962, pp. 89-93 Edilizia Moderna, no.79, June 1963, p .91 Architect, vol.3, no.8, August 1973, pp. 48-50 Country Life, vol.195, no.4, 25 January 2001, pp.54-9 Elain Harwood, England: a Guide to Post-War Listed Buildings, English Heritage, Batsford, 2003
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: No. 6 Bacons Lane, built 1957-59, is designated for the following principal reasons:
* It ranks among the most notable architect-designed private houses of the 1950s, designed by the distinguished architect Leonard Manasseh for himself and family. It was Manasseh's first work in the emerging New Brutalist genre; * Its complex plan and clever use of materials, makes it a critical example of the post-war architect-designed home, and a success as a small-scale, economically-built family home; * Its significance, which has been subsequently endorsed, was widely recognised and published at the time.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Harwood, E, England A Guide to Post War Listed Buildings, (2003)
'Architectural Design' in 4 April, , Vol. 31, (1961), 159-62
'Architect and Building News' in 20 August, , Vol. 214, (1958), 258-272
'Country Life' in 25 January, , Vol. 195, (2001), 54-9
'House and Garden' in March, , Vol. 17, (1962), 89-93
'Edilizia Moderna' in June, , Vol. 79, (1963), 91
'Architect' in Architect - August, , Vol. 3, (1973), 48-50
'International Asbestos Cement Review' in 24 October, , Vol. 6, (1961)
This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
End of official listing