22 Murray Mews

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1409901
Date first listed:
11-Jan-2013
Statutory Address:
22 Murray Mews, Camden, London

Map

Ordnance survey map of 22 Murray Mews
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1409901 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 17-Sep-2019 at 05:27:15.

Location

Statutory Address:
22 Murray Mews, Camden, London

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

County:
Greater London Authority
District:
Camden (London Borough)
Parish:
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ2971284478

Summary

Private house with architect's office. Designed 1967-8, built 1970-73 by Tom Kay for himself and his family.

Reasons for Designation

No. 23 Murray Mews, built 1970-3 by the architect Tom Kay for himself and his family, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Architectural quality: the materials are hard, but their effect is softened by the clever use of clerestorey lighting, the detailing is consistent, and the little structure works as an ensemble thought through from first principles; * Planning interest: an ingenious use of a tiny site constrained by planning requirements; the building combines spacious, partly top-lit family accommodation with the architect's office and a student flat set below.

History

Tom Kay (1935-2007) bought the site in 1962 when the houses to the front were being acquired by the Metropolitan Borough of St Pancras, which was looking to increase housing densities in the area and to sell off the backland sites. After an initial planning refusal by the local authority, who wanted to enforce a 10ft building line, Kay won an appeal enabling him to build right on to the street, although the scheme was designed with a frontage that could be moved back if the road was widened. No. 22 is partially supported on the house by Richard Gibson next door. Kay's design respects the very different building lines of his neighbours on either side, being on line with the pavement at ground-floor level and set back on the upper floor, thus acting as a point of mediation between the two. Builders erected the frame and made it watertight, installing the windows and doors, and Kay himself did the internal joinery, staircase and ceilings, save that for the kitchen. The house was designed to a complex brief of scenarios depending on the future size of his family and his office, with space that could be let out as a separate flat if necessary. A living room at the upper level allowed maximum light with small windows and top lighting.

The house was reviewed by Colin Amery in 1975 as 'a very successful explosion of space...this sense of space in a house on a relatively small site is a great achievement. The finishes are hard and the whole house has a toughness which is softened by the impeccable detailing in the specially made kitchen fittings and staircase. This house has been designed with an uncompromising logic that is in no way doctrinaire. Every opportunity has been taken to maximise space, light and volume and levels on a small site, and the result is a truly innovative house.' ('Three Houses', in Architectural Review, 1975). 22. Murray Mews won an International Prize for Architecture in 1974, and a Civic Trust Commendation the same year.

Details

MATERIALS: stock brick, with sloping roofs incorporating patent roof lights, and extensive use of brick paviours inside and out.

PLAN: two storeys with storage gallery, garage and roof terrace, on tiny mews site 18m by 7m, part of which was threatened by road widening. Very deep plan determined around one internal structural wall and the staircase, but otherwise designed to be flexible. The principal living area is on the upper level, maximising the light. More flexible accommodation below, including a garage, an architect's studio with its own door, and a bedroom with its own bathroom which can also be entered separately and thus used as a studio flat.

EXTERIOR: stark, blocky, somewhat fortress-like exterior with separate volumes strongly expressed but few openings on the street front. Principal entrance on first floor up external brick stairs and set behind small dining patio; this also incorporates patent rooflights to the studio below. Windows and glazed doors have thick timber surrounds. Part-paved patio to rear.

INTERIORS: exposed brick walls (even the clamps joining the house to that next door are visible), with rendered movable walls, roof and galleries. Built-in kitchen designed by the architect, full-height Columbian pine veneered internal doors, and tiled floors. Slate worktops and door cills.

Sources

Books and journals
Newton, M, Architects' London Houses, (1992), 82-7
'A+U' in A+U, (February 1979), 93-106
'Baumeister' in , (July 1977), 643-4
'Architectural Review' in , (July 1975), 36-40
'A+' in A+, (August 1974), 34-6, 44
Other
Information from the architect,

Legal

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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].