Architect: Gerald Beech

Broadstairs
Kent

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This five bedroom house, by one of the most respected British architects of the Mid Century period, is located in Broadstairs on the increasingly popular East Kent coast.

Designed in 1963 by Gerald Beech, an architect perhaps best known for his Grade II* listed Cedarwood in Liverpool, this house is highly praised in the respected Pevsner Architectural Guide which describes the form of the building as “two interpenetrating flat-roofed ranges at right angles to one another”. It goes on to admire the “light-filled, largely open-plan interior” of what it concludes is an “an excellent house”.

The house has been sympathetically updated over the years and extended at the back by the architect Mike Duncan. All the finest original features remain however, including a spectacular double-height living room with an elegant open tread staircase.

Accommodation is largely arranged across the ground floor. This is entered via a hallway that leads in one direction to a dining room and kitchen beyond and in the other to a bedroom, a bathroom and a further bedroom / study beyond. Straight ahead of the hall is the living room which in turn leads to a further wing of the house that was designed to be a self-contained annexe. This annexe includes a bedroom with ensuite bathroom, a kitchen area and breakfast / living area.

On the first floor there are two further bedrooms, one with an en suite bathroom, joined across a landing by a bridge that crosses above the living room.

There is also a good-sized integral garage as well as ample parking space at the front of the house. The side and rear are attractive, level landscaped gardens.

The property can be found on the corner of Callis Court Road and Grange Road, approximately half a mile from the sea and half a mile from the High Street.

Broadstairs is a historic coastal town known as “the star of the sea”. It has some wonderful beaches including Joss Bay and Viking Bay. It also has broad range of shops, restaurants and services and a number of highly regarded schools including grammar schools (both private and public). Broadstairs has a mainline railway station providing services to London St Pancras in under 1 ½ hours, plus there are good road links to London and the motorway network.

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.


History

In October 1963, the house was featured over three pages in the well-respected journal ‘The Architect & Building News’. Alongside some exceptional images taken by the renowned photographer Colin Westwood, one of which can be seen here, the article went into considerable detail about the concept and construction of the house. It begins by citing the client as M.C. Rimmer, the general contractor as John B. Sharman and the architect as Gerald R. Beech and goes on to explain how the Rimmers were downsizing from a large 18th century house, wanting “a more manageable home which still retained a sense of space”.

The author seems particularly impressed with the central double-height space, writing that “the extension of part of the living room through two floors has created a strong element of vertical space which is apparent from all parts of the house and, with the stairway and bridge link pass through it, the accommodation on the first floor becomes an entity with the ground floor.”

Later in the article, the author discusses the way that construction elements have been used as part of the visual concept of the spaces. “Exposed joists and beams have been used, and by giving careful consideration to their positions and direction of run, this structure is dominant in the spatial idea… The provision of such a modular discipline in the structure at an early stage during the building operation did much to encourage exact craftsmanship by the building operatives”.

A copy of the full article is available upon request.


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