Architect: Eric Lyons
Richmond Upon Thames
This two-bedroom second-floor apartment, located just ten miles from central London in Ham, forms part of the Grade II-listed Parkleys development built by Span in the 1950s. The beautiful and tranquil setting, together with the quality of light, space and period detailing, make these some of the capital’s finest Modern apartments.
Accommodation includes two bedrooms, a bathroom, living / dining room and kitchen, with oak parquet floors throughout. There is also a store room allocated to the apartment. The building has a unique ‘H-block’ shape, meaning this apartment has the benefit of views over secluded communal gardens from almost every room.
Span are perhaps the most celebrated of all 20th-century residential developers and many of the developments that they worked on throughout the south of England are now listed. They are renowned for their outstanding, yet simple, Modern architectural style and considered landscaping.
Ham is a picturesque district in south west London located between Richmond upon Thames and Kingston upon Thames. It centres on a large, open common and is renowned for the quality of its period architecture (the outstanding example of which is Ham House, described by the National Trust as “the most complete survival of 17th-century fashion and power”). There is a parade of shops in Ham with wider shopping and dining opportunities available at Richmond and Kingston (both easily accessible by road or bus). Richmond and Kingston also offer fast train services into central London.
The flat is owner-occupied and cannot be let out for more than six months. It has a long lease of 999 years from 1982 with the freehold being held in common by the residents.
Tenure: Leasehold with Share of Freehold
Lease: approx. 963 years
Service charge: approx. £2,400 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.
Parkleys Estate is a highly influential 1950s development of flats by the pioneering architects/developers Eric Lyons and Geoffrey Townsend, the first of their large residential projects under the company Span Developments Ltd. This unique cluster of private flats was designed for first-time buyers, offering an innovative endowment mortgage, and is the first example of the successful residents’ management companies set up by Span.
Parkleys has been Grade II listed in recognition of its special historic and architectural interest. The estate consists of small blocks of flats in either a three-storey ‘H-plan’ shape with central entrance stairwell, or two-storey terraces positioned around shared courtyards. These flats are of brick construction with concrete-slab floors and flat roofs. They have large timber windows and distinctive concrete tile-hangings. Span was revolutionary in using such modern architectural design and mixing this with traditional materials.
Lyons’ Span developments are all about space and light, and blurring the edges between outside and indoor space. He paid great attention to the surrounding landscape, designing houses around existing mature trees and creating communal areas that encourage residents to mix. Span estates remain perennially popular with architects and designers in particular.
Having worked for Walter Gropius and Maxwell Fry, Eric Lyons (1912-1980) co-founded the development company Span in 1948, along with Geoffrey Townsend and Leslie Bilsby. Lyons’s Span houses are all about space and light, and blurring the edges between outside and indoor space. He paid great attention to the surrounding landscape, designing and building properties around existing splendid mature trees and creating communal areas that encourage residents to mix. An early Span publication summarises the origin of the name: “It spans the gap between the suburban monotony of the typical ‘spec building’ and the architecturally designed individually built residence.” Outside of his Span work, Lyons carried out a number of other schemes, including public housing for World’s End in Chelsea. He was appointed President of the RIBA in the 1970s.