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Latitude: 52.4299 / 52°25'47"N
Longitude: -1.8575 / 1°51'27"W
OS Eastings: 409784
OS Northings: 281329
OS Grid: SP097813
Mapcode National: GBR 69V.SV
Mapcode Global: VH9Z9.R6C3
Plus Code: 9C4WC4HR+WX
Entry Name: 421, Wake Green Road
Listing Date: 5 January 1998
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1022582
English Heritage Legacy ID: 466952
Location: Birmingham, B13
Electoral Ward/Division: Springfield
Built-Up Area: Birmingham
Traditional County: Worcestershire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands
Church of England Parish: Moseley St Agnes
Church of England Diocese: Birmingham
SP 27 NE BIRMINGHAM WAKE GREEN ROAD
997/12/10161 Number 421 (odd)
Prefab with shed and timber fence. Erected in 1945 under the Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act by the Ministry of Works, the City Council supplying the site and foundations. Phoenix design, a welded steel tube frame clad in cream-painted corrugated asbestos sheeting with internal timber lining and partitions. Shallow-pitched corrugated asbestos roof, felt-covered, with central apex and low chimney. One storey. The dimensions of the prototype Portal house of 1944 were adopted (32'4" by 21'3"), as were its provision of two bedrooms to left of hall, living room to right and the standard Portal kitchen and bathroom unit, which was delivered ready assembled to site. Timber windows with metal opening casements and toplights, the living rooms to right with distinctive double casements mirrored around central mullion. Central glazed door under curved metal porch that is an idiosyncratic feature of the Phoenix design.
Similar casement windows to rear. Shed at rear of identical date and construction. Timber fence to front garden.
The interior was designed to be fully fitted at a time when furniture and kitchen fixtures were unavailable. Living room with fitted shelving, principal bedroom (at rear) with fitted cupboards. Kitchen, bathroom and separate WC fitted as a single unit, designed by the Ministry of Works, and some features remain.
Some 2,438 Phoenix prefabs were erected in the United Kingdom as part of the Temporary Housing Programme, which erected about 156,623 temporary bungalows across Britain between 1944 and 1948. This was a scheme devised by Lord Portal, Minister of Works, to relieve the post-war housing shortage at a time when conventional materials were unavailable and wartime industries needed a new peacetime function. It is one of the rarest of the eleven approved types, though one of the most substantially built. Modelled on the Portal prototype bungalow exhibited at the Tate Gallery in 1944 they are notable for their fully fitted interiors, which from the first included fitted kitchens with washing machines and refrigerators (then still novelties), and careful layout. The bungalows erected under the Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act stand out from other prefabricated housing of the period because of their more carefully planned design, internal fixtures, their great historical interest and for being detached.
The group of prefabs in Wake Green Road is an unusual surviving example of a rare variant of the Portal bungalow, that is still more remarkable for its exceptional state of preservation with few alterations.
Listing NGR: SP0978481329
This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.
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