The Homewood, a paean to Modernist style and living, was designed by Patrick Gwynne (1913–2003) for his somewhat indulgent parents. He convinced them to demolish their large Victorian villa to make way for this individual, luxurious house of the International Style. It was completed in 1938 and is a supreme architectural tour de force. Gwynne had been converted to the Modern Movement by Amyas Connell’s High & Over, in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, which he had discovered whilst on a day trip from Harrow. He worked for the progressive architect Wells Coates, and travelled extensively on the continent, studying buildings by Erich Mendelsohn, Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. Gwynne also designed the furniture and fittings. However, disliking the chrome finish on the Bauhaus chair in the Living Room (designed by Marcel Breuer and one of the first originals to be imported to Britain), he had it stove-enamelled in ivory! The four steel-framed portraits of Gwynne’s Welsh ancestors are an incongruous addition, painted in around 1810 by Mather Brown (1761–1831), an American artist who had settled in Britain. After the death of his parents before the end of the Second World War, Patrick was the sole occupant. For the next 58 years he maintained, refined and thoroughly enjoyed his house, which he gave to the National Trust in 1999.
National Trust, The Homewood
Portsmouth Road, Esher, Surrey KT10 9JL England
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