Langham House Close, Ham, Richmond-upon-Thames
Architect: Stirling & Gowan
Year built: 1957-58
Like the Parkleys development that I visited earlier this year, Langham House Close is a spectacular Grade II listed modernist apartment block situated in the ridiculously inaccessible Ham.
The low-rise development is comprised of a cluster of small, boxy two-storey blocks and a larger, three-storey block surrounded by mature, gently sloping gardens. The buildings have been beautifully maintained and contain a lot of features of architectural interest: the communal hallways, for instance, feature pre-cast shuttered concrete, curved steel handrails and elevated walkways.
The flat that I viewed was on the ground floor of one of the two storey “garden pavilion” blocks. I would usually dismiss a ground floor flat out of hand but the design and construction of the flat (extensive glazing, flowing open plan layout) meant there were fine views from all of the rooms out onto the gardens and not, notably into any of the other flats.
The flat contained two bedrooms, a bathroom and a main reception room divided by a floating internal wall (featuring a fireplace with exposed concrete mantelpiece) into kitchen/dining and living areas. The flat was not by any means large but felt reasonably spacious, again due to its design and layout.
The flat had been decorated in a somewhat futuristic-looking mid century modern style. The overall colour palette was pale (white walls, faded exposed brick and concrete, light grey sisal flooring) with occasional dashes of colour (those kitchen cabinets in a primary yellow, for instance). The furnishings were a mixture of very expensive Danish design classics and IKEA. Every single item in the flat had clearly been carefully chosen with a view to achieving a certain look: even the toys in the children’s bedroom were aesthetically pleasing.
I loved this development and this particular flat (though I’d probably prefer one of the larger flats with a balcony in the three storey block given the choice) but Ham’s inaccessibility took this place out of the running. It seems like other prospective buyers share my concerns: the flat has been on the market for a while and has been recently reduced from £475k to £450k.