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Schreiber House and Attached Swimming Pool

A Grade II Listed Building in Frognal and Fitzjohns, London

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Latitude: 51.5621 / 51°33'43"N

Longitude: -0.1866 / 0°11'11"W

OS Eastings: 525793

OS Northings: 186364

OS Grid: TQ257863

Mapcode National: GBR C5.CM0

Mapcode Global: VHGQK.QZ5V

Entry Name: Schreiber House and Attached Swimming Pool

Listing Date: 15 July 1998

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1379179

English Heritage Legacy ID: 478546

Location: Camden, London, NW3

County: London

District: Camden

Electoral Ward/Division: Frognal and Fitzjohns

Built-Up Area: Camden

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St John Hampstead

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text


WEST HEATH ROAD (South side),
No.9 Schreiber House and attached swimming pool



Detached house, and attached swimming pool. 1962-4 by James
Gowan for Mr CS Schreiber, furniture manufacturer, and his
family; built by CP Roberts & Co. The pool added by Gowan in
1968. Blue rustic Staffordshire engineering bricks with
rounded "specials" for all corners; aluminium double glazing.
Plan of 2 oblongs to the north with a longer oblong to the
south, linked by central core.
EXTERIOR: mostly 3 storey and basement with the 3 feet by 1
foot 6 inches planning grid powerfully expressed. Piers of
brick separated by continuous vertical strips of glazing
define spaces with specific functions. Front facade: 2 bays,
each of piers flanking 2 strips of glazing, linked by a
recessed slightly lower bay. To left, a half-height bay of 3
glazed strips flanked by piers behind which rises a wide blind
pier with a slightly lower strip of horizontally set windows
to the right. Rear, garden facade, repeats the features with
slight variations.
INTERIOR: arranged in 4 layers: service rooms in the basement,
living rooms on ground floor, master bedrooms on 1st,
children's rooms and studio on the 2nd. Each floor is an open
suite of rooms but concealed doors can be used to divide the
space for privacy; the planning module is also expressed
internally, including panelling. Because the main view, over
the Heath, is to the north and away from the sun, the rooms
extend through the full depth north-south: the cross-section
is stepped to form a clerestory at roof level. An important
part of the interiors is the built-in furniture, largely
designed by Gowan, made by Schreiber's factory and installed
over a number of years. The standards of workmanship and
finishes inside the house are exceptionally high, in
particular for their date; money was spent not on ornament but
on high-quality materials. Precast concrete trough ceilings
faced with Bath stone; San Stefano marble floors. Further
features of interest include: a central vacuuming system and
external York paving electrically heated to keep it clear of
snow and ice in winter.
In 1968 the external landscaping was completed by James Gowan
with a 30' diameter sunken and domed swimming pool set in a
turf mound with two circular changing/shower and WC rooms.
Marble surround and base to pool; glazed tiles to other
HISTORY: this was Gowan's first commission after he and
Stirling ended their partnership; Schreiber was to remain his
most important client and it is probably his most significant
work. The lineage from Stirling and Gowan's Ham Common flats
is discernable, but there is in Gowan's work from the mid
1960s a greater austerity in his massing and use of brickwork,
and he is seen as one of the first architects in the 1960s to
incorporate elements of 1920s idioms in his work - here that
of early Dutch modernism. The result is one of the most
significant town houses of the post-war period.
(Architects' Journal: Vol.142: 14 July 1965: 103-114;
Architectural Review: Vol.145: August 1969: 172-176).

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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