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‘Innovative’ 1970s Hopkins House given Grade II* listing

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The government has awarded a grade II* listing to the Hopkins House, which Michael and Patty Hopkins built as their home in 1976

The decision, announced today, was taken by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.

The 240m² lightweight, High Tech structure was built among Victorian Hampstead mansions in Downshire Hill, London, and helped inform the couple’s subsequent work.

Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson said: ‘The Hopkins House is an elegant piece of post-war architecture, largely made from lightweight steel and glass.

‘The architects behind this innovative building showed the world what could be achieved within the confines of a restricted site and on a modest budget, and in this experimental work managed to design a combined home and office space that has stood the test of time and inspired other architects.’

Historic England’s assessment said that the materials used and the building’s experimentation and influence gave it architectural interest.

‘The architects were influenced by the Eames Case Study House of 1949, though their house had added demands because of the multiple uses expected of it and number of occupants,’ it said.

It added that the house could be seen as an evolution from Foster’s IBM ‘Pilot’ building in Cosham, for which Michael Hopkins had been the partner.

Hopkins’ professional partnership with Foster ended in 1976, the year the £20,000 house was completed. It also has historical interest as an early and key building by the Hopkinses, the assessment said.

The home is the latest in a number of recent listings for post-war buildings. Last month five ‘themed’ pubs and 17 Postmodern gems were given statutory heritage protection.   

See more photos and drawings of Hopkins House in the AJ Buildings Library.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I just hope that this pioneering house fares better, in the long run, than the grade 2 listed building in Coal Drops Yard at King's Cross.

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