• Places and Spaces: Schoolheifer’s Manygate Lane Estate

    by  • February 25, 2014 • Places & Spaces • 0 Comments


    BBC Two’s The Great Interior Design Challenge prompted us to take a more in depth look at the architecture of post World War II housing. The Westfield Span estate featured on the programme was designed under Chief Architect Eric Lyons, and was one of many successful Span estates at the time. There is, however, a similarly great example dating from 1964 in Shepperton which we feel deserves equal recognition.

    Swiss born architect Edward Schoolheifer designed Manygate Lane in 1964. A true gem of contemporary architecture, Schoolheifer created a small housing estate with a focus on natural day light, outside space and clean lines. The houses are located around a communal grass square, featuring expansive plate glass windows with skinny aluminium frames. As a result, Schoolheifer managed to create a strong sense of space both inside and outside the property. The ground floor interiors are designed largely around one central wall, allowing a view straight through the ground floor of the house, from the front door into the rear garden.

    In 1964 a three bedroom house on Manygate Lane would cost £7,695. Bargain! we hear you cry, but that was more than double the cost of the average UK house. The reason for this price tag? Schoolheifer was a firm believer in producing homes of quality.
    Although this style of housing generally fell out of fashion in the 1980s and 1990s they’re now highly sought after, and we can see why; well built, light, and open plan, these houses were decades ahead of their time.



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