2 Willow Rd/ Erno Goldfinger's House
2 Willow Rd, London, United Kingdom
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/2-w… - 020 7435 6166
2 Willow Rd/ Erno Goldfinger's House London Reviews
A modernist masterpiece May 06, 2012
As far as I am aware this building is one of the few Modernist properties owned by the National Trust in the UK and had been on my radar to visit for sometime.
It's a pretty easy walk from Hampstead Heath overground station and is also well signposted. It's also crazily cheap to get in (£6) and free hourly guided tours run by volunteers are provided, sadly though taking photographs isn't permitted due to the rare artwork hanging throughout most of the house.
This unique Modernist home was designed by Hungarian architect Ernö Goldfinger in 1939 for himself and his family, although the actual terrace is split into three dwellings, two of which were later sold off and remain private houses.
As well as being the family home and also Erno and Ursula's studio to some extent it also displays the Goldfingers' impressive collection of modern art, intriguing personal possessions and innovative furniture (some of which was designed by Goldfinger's daughter). The Goldfingers were friends with many of the leading modern artists and thinkers of the time and parties and exhibitions were often held at the house, the profits of the exhibitions sometimes being sent to aid the Soviet Union.
The guide was well informed and I preferred the fact she talked more about the Goldfingers, their life and friends and how the house was used rather than spending too long labouring over the architecture. For me the exterior is quite modest almost to the point of being uninspiring but it's the interior and the level of craft, thought and care which Erno put into every last detail and the spatial layout that make it worth the visit.
It's definitely worth a trip to Hampstead for the house alone but you could easily combine the visit into a full day out and visit the heath, pottering around Hampstead's village-like high street and enjoying the many pubs and cafes in the area.
After seeing Erno's house I'm now off to go and visit more of his work such as the Trellick Tower in North Kensington!
Part of the Adventures in Londerland travel blog
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