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40, Kingston Road

A Grade II Listed Building in Didsbury East, Manchester

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Latitude: 53.4083 / 53°24'29"N

Longitude: -2.2289 / 2°13'44"W

OS Eastings: 384880

OS Northings: 390184

OS Grid: SJ848901

Mapcode National: GBR DYW0.7Y

Mapcode Global: WHB9V.QLTJ

Plus Code: 9C5VCQ5C+8C

Entry Name: 40, Kingston Road

Listing Date: 19 March 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393717

English Heritage Legacy ID: 507595

ID on this website: 101393717

Location: East Didsbury, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M20

County: Manchester

Electoral Ward/Division: Didsbury East

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Manchester

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester

Church of England Parish: Didsbury St James and Emmanuel

Church of England Diocese: Manchester

Tagged with: Building

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Detached house, 1962-63, by John Parkinson Whittle as his family home, dark grey engineering brick, custom-made double glazed windows, flat roof, single-storey.

PLAN: internal courtyard plan with domestic spaces and main entrance to front (east side) of house, three bedrooms to rear (west side), small bedroom to front right (north-east corner), south-facing lounge. Master bedroom projects out to rear right of house. Integral garage forms major part of south wing.

EXTERIOR: soffit boards and window and door frames all painted dark grey. Small water tank and slender chimneybreast set to rear right of roof. Front (east) elevation: Small square slate plaque attached to far left inscribed with the date '1962' flanked by initials 'JPW' and 'PW' at opposite diagonal corners. Main entrance to centre right of elevation with a wide heavy timber door and slender side panel (both painted bright red/orange), overlights above (that to the side panel is louvered and lights a small cloakroom), short section of vertical timber cladding painted dark grey to left of entrance. Outer bays set within deep recesses with dark grey brick floors; bay to left contains a dark grey metal garage door to far left, pierced dark grey metal screen composed of vertical strips of alternating width set to front right of recess conceals small porch area behind containing louvered laundry window, second entrance doorway with dark grey plain timber door (burnt orange/red colour to reverse side in interior) and bin store with dark grey door. Right recess contains white painted brickwork to left, large horizontal two-light window to right with larger upper light and slender bottom light reaching down to ground level, deep timber panel painted dark grey above window.

Rear (west) elevation: five bays, overlooks small garden with views over a park and flood plain below. Wall face set back slightly behind deep eaves and side walls, incorporates windows to bays 2, 3 and 5 in same style as that to front elevation (that to bay 2 incorporates a glazed door and has replaced glazing), white painted brickwork to bay 4. Bay 1 (main bedroom) projects forward with windows to west side and right (south) return in same style as rest of elevation; that to west side has section of white painted brickwork to right, band of four horizontal lights above (two lights above brickwork are louvered and light an en-suite bathroom).

North and south side elevations: Built close to plot boundary, plain with a single window set midway down each elevation. Internal courtyard: Dark grey tile and pebbledash concrete paving, later water feature. Timber window and door frames all painted dark grey. South wall is blank expanse of white painted brickwork, fully glazed north wall (lighting main lounge) with five large panels of fixed glazing (replaced) with narrow horizontal lights above. East wall with glazed patio doors to far left, white painted brickwork to right with a large single light horizontal window. West wall with tall slender vertical light to far left, white painted brickwork to centre section of wall, glazed patio doors to far right in same style as those to east wall.

INTERIOR: main bedrooms set to rear of house, domestic areas to front. Main living spaces are open-plan. Original built-in fixtures and fittings, including shelving and cupboards. Exposed pale buff brick and white plastered walls, wood block floors with single herringbone pattern with a two block border to bedrooms and lounge, dark grey tiled floors to kitchen, dining room, entrance lobbies and rear snug. Hemlock wood-clad ceilings to all areas except main bathroom and laundry. Polished veneer doors with overlights above. Full-height built-in veneered wardrobes with sliding doors (designed and built by Whittle) to each bedroom.

Domestic spaces to centre front of house between two entrance lobbies include a small laundry, toilet and store. Kitchen and dining room set behind overlooking courtyard, divided by a cream-coloured dwarf partition screen incorporating fixed shelving, cupboards and a counter to the kitchen side, wide horizontal panel to centre of screen in bright orange/red Formica is cut away at east end to create servery and allow view between both spaces. Replaced cream-coloured kitchen units in same style as originals. Small enclosed study/office to north side off dining room. Dining room flows into lounge set to north side of house. Open-plan lounge with square fireplace opening set low to west wall, raised dark grey tiled hearth runs full length of west wall, built-in low-level cupboards with dark grey sliding doors to north wall with fixed shelving above, dark grey tiling along south wall forms an implied corridor. Open doorway to far left of west wall leads into snug. Large cork feature panel to north wall of snug, later shelving attached to exposed buff brick south wall, glazed door (forming part of window) to west wall leads into rear garden, glazed patio doors to east wall lead into courtyard. Doorway to east end of north wall leads into main bedroom with seating area to west end incorporating low-level laminate shelf/bench in burnt orange/red along north wall, circular tilting mirror fixed to wall above, en-suite bathroom to south-west corner (added in 1976, designed by Whittle) with orange-coloured fixed units concealing the plumbing and cobalt blue wall facing into bedroom. East end of room with cobalt blue north wall. Low-level white laminate panel runs full length of north wall and acts as headboard, incorporates two layered woodblock cantilevered bedside shelves with white laminate tops, wardrobes to east wall.

West wing (originally used by the family's children) separately contained behind door to south-east corner of snug, corridor alongside east wall overlooking courtyard with two bedrooms off to west side, bathroom to south end. Further small bedroom (originally for the family's au-pair) to front right of house by main entrance lobby. Self-contained garage with no internal access from house.


No.40 Kingston Road was constructed in 1962-3 to the designs of John Parkinson Whittle, an architect with the firm of Halliday Meecham of Manchester (formerly Halliday & Agate, who designed the Grade II* listed Battersea Power Station with Sir Giles Gilbert Scott). The house was designed and built as Whittle's family home and was constructed by a local builder. Whittle was born in 1920 and grew up in Blackburn. He trained at the Manchester University School of Architecture under Professor R.A. Cordingley (Rome Scholar and the first President of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain) from 1938-41 when he left to join the army during the Second World War. After the end of the war Whittle returned for two more years to complete the course. Whittle's wife, Petronella, also trained as an architect under Professor Cordingley and they originally started designing the house together, although it was Mr Whittle who carried the work on over a period of 2 years.

The plot on Kingston Road was acquired by the Whittles for £500 in 1960. The land was then being used as an allotment for two neighbouring cottages. The Whittles had previously selected, and designed houses for, plots in Brooklands and Alderley Edge but the Kingston Road site was finally selected for its proximity to Mr Whittle's offices in Manchester and public transport. The original estimate for the construction of the house was approximately £6000. Building work commenced in 1962 and the house was completed in 1963.

In the 1950s/60s Halliday Meecham was mainly a regional firm, although they did work on some projects nationally, such as in Ipswich where they designed volume housing. The firm designed a number of schools in Salford, including Salford Technical College in 1966 (now known as the Allerton Building and part of the University of Salford), for which Whittle commissioned William Mitchell to produce a mural and three large totemic concrete figures. Halliday Meecham also produced designs for a number of private houses in Cheshire, as well as work for housing corporations. Their work was largely traditional in style.

Reasons for Listing

No.40 Kingston Road, a detached house constructed in 1962-63 by John Parkinson Whittle as his family home, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural quality: It is a good and rare example of a small modern house that displays design influences from both Scandinavia and the United States
* Planning: Its courtyard design and incorporation of large expanses of glass respond well to and maximise natural light, views over a neighbouring park below, and the constraints of the plot size
* Design aesthetic: The house's monochrome palette with splashes of burnt orange/red and cobalt blue show Whittle's modern and confident approach to using simplicity of detailing to produce a striking result
* Materials: High quality materials are used to both the exterior and interior to provide various forms and textures
* Intactness: Both externally and internally the house is virtually unaltered and original features survive throughout the interior, including built-in fixtures and fittings, such as wardrobes, cupboards and shelves, hemlock-clad ceilings, woodblock and tiled floors, and a dwarf partition screen incorporating a panel of bright orange/red Formica that separates the dining room and kitchen
* Spatial organisation: The house illustrates the post-war concept of open-plan living with a continuous flow of space and movement within the house, and a contrast between shared (living areas) and separate (bedroom) zones

External Links

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