Swains Lane – John Winter, Highgate Cemetery

Swains Lane – John Winter, Highgate Cemetery
John Winter Architects are lamenting the loss of an important piece of Hi-tech architecture, an exceedingly rare style within the context of private residential construction.

No 85 Swains Lane was built for Mr Meredith Hardy in 1980 and quickly found fame in the architecture annals, demonstrating a care free abandon by the decision to support the house on one central concrete pillar and to truss up the first floor as a cantilever, for no other reason than “for fun”. This fun factor found favour with the architectural press with The Architectural Review deeming it front cover material.

Hardy House

Hardy House

Enjoying a spectacular position adjoining the grounds of Highgate Cemetery, the home offered magnificent views over London.  Indeed Winter himself was so taken with the area that he had previously elected to build his own home on a site next door, the famous Cor-ten house.

Site restrictions, notably an older generation of the client’s family who were in residence to the  immediate north, and poor soil foundations, necessarily lent the house a low profile. The house was sadly demolished in 2008, to be replaced by a larger home designed by Eldridge Smeurin.

Winter remarks: “They did a good job building a very nice house, but it does seem wasteful of resources for a house to be demolished after less than thirty years.”

Hardy House

Hardy House