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Benjamins Mount and Attached Steps

A Grade II* Listed Building in Windlesham, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.3786 / 51°22'43"N

Longitude: -0.6479 / 0°38'52"W

OS Eastings: 494199

OS Northings: 165265

OS Grid: SU941652

Mapcode National: GBR F9P.K0P

Mapcode Global: VHFTT.QMB0

Plus Code: 9C3X99H2+FR

Entry Name: Benjamins Mount and Attached Steps

Listing Date: 11 January 1999

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1245054

English Heritage Legacy ID: 472738

Location: Windlesham, Surrey Heath, Surrey, GU20

County: Surrey

Civil Parish: Windlesham

Built-Up Area: Broomhall/Windlesham/Virginia Water

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Windlesham

Church of England Diocese: Guildford

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(East, off)

282/1/10007 Benjamin's Mount and attached steps


Alternatively known as : Perry House, WESTWOOD POAD and Teesdale, WESTWOOD ROAD
Private house. 1967-9 by Erno Goldfinger for Jack Perry. Timber post and lintel construction, clad in timber and full-height glazing with brick rear wall to central patent-glazed conservatory. Flat roof. Single storey. Canted plan around central conservatory, with larger living area to north on rising land and four bedrooms and bathroom in angled wing to south. Seven bay living wing has projecting roof over posts and exposed laminated beam giving on to terrace, providing a strong visual link between indoor and outdoor space. All save end bays fully glazed with separate opening timber top lights. Door in return abutting conservatory. The entrance front, by contrast, has only top lights, with two entrances reached up terrazzo steps, the principal one to north with full-height glazed double doors. Projecting timber-clad water tank over utility room is the only dramatic note in this deliberately calm, eastern-inspired exterior. Integral car port at its northern end. Aluminium patent glazing to conservatory, which leans against blue brick rear wall.
The interior is consistent in its exemplary timber finishes, with exposed laminated ceiling bearm, fine timber panelling to walls and full-height doors except where noted. Entrance hall with terrazzo floor and boarded walls, and full-height mirror reflecting the view through the full-height glass doors opposite. Living room with fireplace set in freestanding wall clad in marble with inset shelves, the marble consistent with Goldfinger's use of the material elsewhere in his work, notably at Alexander Fleming House and Balfton Tower (LB Tower Hamlets, listed grade 11) lift lobbies. Study area behind fireplace with bookcases. At other end of living room folding screen and two steps separate two-bay dining room, with round marble table (fitting only) complementing the marble fireplace. The use of steps and sliding screens is very reminiscent of the more convoluted separation of spaces in Goldfinger's own home in Hampstead (LB Camden, listed grade II*) Kitchen separated by sliding screen over counter; this with fitted drawers and tiled top. Quarry tiled floor. Opposite are further original cupboards, incorporating sink, and cupboards above against the end wall.
Behind this run of principal rooms, arranged as an open plan but with means of partition if required, is a top-lit service corridor running from the principal entrance hall to the conservatory link. It leads past lavatory, utility room, scullery and second entrance, with boarded walls and quarry-tiled floors, the second (service) entrance flanked by cupboards. Conservatory has 'S'-shaped path of terrazzo leading through to bedroom wing. This also has full-height panelling, with contrasting beading to door surrounds, and corridor under curved top light. All small bedrooms panelled. Bathroom with mosaic tiled flooring and shower, boarded walls with timber panelled bath surround and separate lavatory. Mirror masks door to dressing room. At end, master bedroom panelled, with mosaic to en~suite bathroom walls and bath surround.

Jack Perry was one of the first businessmen to develop trading links with China in the 1950s and 1960s and the form of the house may reflect these eastern connections. The simplicity and apparent inevitability of the final design was arrived at after a long process of refinement and elimination, for which drawings are held in the house. It is most i ' ortant, however, as the only post-war private house in original condition by Erno Goldfinger, an architect widely celebrated for the quality of his public and commercial commissions 'm the 1950s and 1960s and whose own house of 1939-40 was the first Modem Movement house acquired by the National Trust. It is the only one of his commissions where Goldfinger had the freedom of budget to express his love of luxury materials and fine finishes, and the house has a homogeneity of richness and quality not found in his other work. The timber has a weight and gravity rarely associated with that material in a modem building. It also marks the culmination of Goldfinger's interest in planning, for while there is an openness and freedom to the circulation every space is also an event.
Sources: House and Garden, September 1970; Architectural Design, August 1970; Architecture
d'A 'ourd'hul, August-September 1972; james Dunnett and Gavin Stamp, Em;s Goldfinger, Ui
London, Architectural Association, 1983, p. 84, 89, 124-5.

Listing NGR: SU9419965265

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