A 1988 London townhouse designed by CZWG’s Piers Gough for television presenter Janet Street-Porter has been awarded Grade II-listed status
Ministers approved an application from Historic England to extend heritage protection to 44 Britton Street in Clerkenwell.
The four-storey building was recognised as an ‘extrovert and ostentatious example of post-modern domestic architecture’ and an ‘uncommon late 20th-century revival of the London townhouse tradition’.
Gough told the AJ the decision to list the building – which he described as a portrait of Street-Porter herself – was ‘fabulous, exciting, brilliant’.
‘It is a celebratory scheme,’ he said. ‘It’s idiosyncratic; it looks like its owner. It was not an expensive building but it carries a visual punch.’
Gough said he enjoyed working with Street-Porter, whom he met some 20 years before starting work on the scheme when the pair joined the Architectural Association on the same day in the 1960s.
‘I look back on the project very fondly because I was working with someone I was in sympathy with,’ said Gough.
‘I have always adored Janet, we stayed in touch and had the same tastes, the same sense of humour. She was an inspiring client, and in the end the building is a portrait of the client, which is something houses can be.’
Janet Street-Porter at the home designed for her by CZWG at 44 Britton Street
Source: Tim Street-Porter
Historic England described the house’s elevations as ‘conventional’ and ‘echoing the proportions of the surrounding Georgian buildings’.
But the heritage body added: ‘The overlaid interlinking diamond frameworks across the façade create a wholly untraditional aesthetic, to which the materials, chosen due to happenstance and budget, contribute.’
The AJ described the building, almost 29 years ago, as a ‘box of delights’, adding: ‘Behind that ostensibly orderly façade is a home whose planning, spatial and tectonic games would astonish even Gough’s illustrious forbears.’
Street-Porter left the house in 2001.
Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson said: ‘It is an inventive and idiosyncratic building by a leading exponent of post-modernism and reflects the personality of Janet Street-Porter, who commissioned the architects and lived there.
‘Post-modernism represents an important strand of late 20th-century architecture and cultural heritage and I am delighted that this significant example of the style has been recognised through listing.’
CZWG’s 44 Britton Street for Janet Street-Porter