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Rogers donates home for parents to Harvard design school

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Listed Rogers’ house in Wimbledon will now benefit doctorate students from university’s design school

The celebrated house that Richard Rogers built for his parents in Wimbledon is to benefit generations of leading architecture students after he announced he is donating it to Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD).

Designed by Rogers and his then wife Su in 1967, the grade II*-listed property at 22 Parkside, is close to Wimbledon Common and was built for his parents Dada and William Nino Rogers.

The prefabricated single-storey property, known as the Rogers’ house, was later adapted for Rogers’ son Ab and his family to live in before being put up for sale in 2013 for £3.2 million.

However, the property was later taken off the market and Rogers has now revealed that Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) will be gifted the house by his charity, the Richard Rogers Charitable Settlement.

Before becoming a place for GSD students to stay and study, Rogers has commissioned his former colleague Philip Gumuchdjian to renovate the house and restore it to its original domestic state.

Rogers told AJ: ‘The house will be a gift to Harvard for training of doctorates in the field of architecture - my charity is giving it to them. [Former Richard Rogers Partnership architect] Gumuchdjian will put the house back to what it was.’

Rogers has previously described the house as ‘a transparent tube with solid boundary walls’ and has said it influenced the design of the Pompidou Centre and Lloyds of London.

Dean of the GSD Mohsen Mostafavi said: ‘We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Rogers family to provide scholars and designers with a space near the resources of London as they consider alternative scenarios for architectural and urban futures.’

Gumuchdjian said the building’s new life showed it remains ‘as relevant as it always was’.

He said: ‘Richard is as visionary as he’s always been so he’d like to see it used for research.

The first job I ever did for Rogers was to repair the blind

‘The first job I ever did for Rogers in 1980 was to repair the blind in the house and it was immaculate with beautiful furniture such as Eames chairs and [Dada’s] pots in it.’

Gumuchdjian added that he had won an invited competition for the renovation scheme.

‘I’m going to try to restore the domestic and cultural spirit that [Rogers’] parents brought to it along with a matter-of-fact restoration of the place – it will be quite a delicate job,’ he said.

‘It’s an interesting intellectual challenge. The building is simple and clean, flexible and very much ahead of its time.’

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Readers' comments (1)

  • As the agency who originally marketed the property we are delighted to hear that, despite having committed buyers wanting to keep it as a private home, the Rogers family have decided to make the house into a resource for future generations of architects and designers.

    The Modern House

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