Architect: George Finch

Edrich House
London SW4

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Please note that we are unaware of any lenders providing mortgages on this estate at the present time.

Positioned on the 9th floor of an impressive modernist block, this two-bedroom split-level apartment has striking panoramic views of the London skyline. Designed by celebrated architect George Finch, Edrich House was completed in 1968.

The apartment is designed to be open and light. From the entrance hall, the kitchen and dining room are to the right, with access to a south-facing 9th-floor balcony. Through a large doorway is the sitting room with its south-facing windows.

Up an open-tread wooden staircase there are two bedrooms, a bathroom and a separate WC. There are generous amounts of built-in storage in both bedrooms and on the landing.

The block has a concierge that operates on weekdays between 8am-5pm, a service which is included in the monthly service charge.

The flat retains its original layout, and has undergone a retrofit by the current owner. A modern kitchen has been fitted, with slate worktop, and a new bathroom decorated with slabs of locally sourced limestone. The concrete walls have been left un-rendered to expose their texture.

The individual flats were designed to be bright and spacious, suitable for family life. At the foot of the building are communal spaces, with landscaped areas and a children’s playground. At several sites – including Edrich House and Holland Rise House on South Island Place, and Ebenezer House, Fairford House and Hurley House on the Cotton Gardens estate – Finch contrived a dentilated profile. Residents, he explained, could better pick out their own flat from the ground.

In response to a call by government to develop more economical and modern, industrialised building techniques, Lambeth architects were sent to Germany to research the use of Large Panel System building (LPS). As a leading member of the team, Finch innovatively used the system to create distinctive high-quality housing to build a series of blocks across the borough, including Edrich House.

Stockwell itself is a diverse and thriving area with plenty of independent restaurants and bars. It offers easy walking access to both Clapham and Brixton with their contrasting and vibrant facilities including restaurants, bars, venues, independent cinemas, markets and shops. There is a popular weekly farmers’ market at St. Mark’s Church in Oval. The nearby parks at Kennington and Battersea have public tennis courts and gym facilities. International Test Cricket matches are played throughout the season at the Kia Oval, approximately 1 mile away.

The flat is very well located for central London, just a 5-minute walk from Stockwell tube for access to both the Victoria and Northern lines. The new developments and Embassy Gardens at Nine Elms are nearby, with work already underway to extend the Northern Line to Nine Elms Lane. A number of buses run frequently into central London.

Tenure: Leasehold
Lease length: approx. 109 years
Service charge: approx. £2,364 per annum (includes communal upkeep and cleaning, lift maintenance, concierge service, hot water, heating and heating maintenance)
Ground rent: approx. £10 per annum 

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

At the time it was created in 1965, Lambeth stood out as one of London’s most ambitious boroughs. Lambeth’s lead architect, Edward “Ted” Hollamby, invited George Finch to be one of two group leaders in the local area. Both Hollamby and Finch’s architecture was central to the council’s vision of building a modern, socially inclusive borough.

In January 2000, Jonathan Glancey wrote the following obituary on Hollamby in The Guardian:
“Edward ‘Ted’ Hollamby, who has died aged 78, was very much an architect of the 20th century, a public servant who believed not just in high-quality architecture but in the existence and nurturing of the public realm, of public architecture and civic design.”

In George Finch’s obituary for The Twentieth Century Society, Tom Cordell writes:
“Above my desk I have a copy of a sketch by the architect George Finch, who died this February aged 82. Drawn in the mid-sixties, it shows the interior of a flat. On the far side of the floor-to-ceiling windows a passing helicopter shows technology’s potential. On the balcony, nature is represented by some flowers and a bird which is happily resting on the railings. Indoors, it’s a convivial setting; we see a family about to have a meal together, next to a happily messy collection of books on the shelves. Looking the viewer straight in the eye, a smiling man announces: ‘What a lovely view’. The drawing is a vision of the future that also defines the artist. A lifelong socialist, George believed that a love of art, nature, knowledge and above all mankind would create a better world for all.”

Of himself, George Finch said: “I designed for everybody you know – this is the sort of house or flat I would like to live in. Everybody’s important. OK, they may be lower paid, but… all these people are very important to society.”

During the period around the formation of Lambeth Borough, government subsidies favoured the use of more economical construction methods like Large Panel System building. Using LPS to build a series of blocks across the borough, George pushed the system to its limits to create distinctive high quality housing. At Lambeth he also used more conventional techniques to build the masterful Lambeth Towers, its form of three interlocked towers expressing the joy that George felt should exist in all architecture.

The LCC was then the place to be for a socialist architect, remodelling bomb-ruined London into a fair city, with good schools and – above all – homes for all its citizens. George quickly established himself in the Housing Division with notable high-rise schemes in Stepney and Whitechapel, alongside experiments with low-rise high-density housing on the Old Kent Road.


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George Finch

George Finch (1930-2013) was a prominent British architect, best known for his distinctive post-war social housing projects. Having studied architecture at North London Polytechnic (now London Metropolitan University) and later at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, alongside Neave Brown and Kenneth Frampton, Finch went on to work with the London County Council. A committed socialist, Finch believed architecture had the power to transform the lives of post-war Londoners, an idea which was entrenched in his work with the LCC – remodelling bomb-ruined London, and creating high quality social housing, civic and environmental buildings for everyday people.

In George Finch’s obituary for The Twentieth Century Society, Tom Cordell writes: “Above my desk I have a copy of a sketch by the architect George Finch, who died this February aged 82. Drawn in the mid-sixties, it shows the interior of a flat. On the far side of the floor-to-ceiling windows a passing helicopter shows technology’s potential. On the balcony, nature is represented by some flowers and a bird which is happily resting on the railings. Indoors, it’s a convivial setting; we see a family about to have a meal together, next to a happily messy collection of books on the shelves. Looking the viewer straight in the eye, a smiling man announces: ‘What a lovely view’. The drawing is a vision of the future that also defines the artist. A lifelong socialist, George believed that a love of art, nature, knowledge and above all mankind would create a better world for all.”

Of himself, George Finch said: “I designed for everybody you know – this is the sort of house or flat I would like to live in. Everybody’s important. OK, they may be lower paid, but… all these people are very important to society.”

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