Architect: Eric Lyons

Victoria Drive
London SW19



This three-bedroom house in a tranquil setting was built in 1960 by the renowned development company Span. It was designed by Eric Lyons, a celebrated architect whose work has been widely published and is still much admired today.

Accommodation is arranged over two floors with a large single-storey extension at the back of the house, by architects Hayhurst and Co, which dramatically increases the size of the open-plan living space. Wooden-framed glass doors provide access to the decked garden. At the side of the house there is a useful workshop space and utility room that is accessed from the garden.

The ground floor also includes an enclosed porch area, a study and a cleverly concealed WC, whilst upstairs there are three bedrooms and a family bathroom. There is a garage at the back of the house, accessed through a gate in the rear garden.

The house is positioned at the end of a terrace of six. This particular model of house is a ‘T8′ Span house, designed for family life with large communal living areas. The downstairs space is particularly light, with floor-to-ceiling windows at the front and back and modern skylights over the living room and kitchen. There is original parquet-tiled floor throughout the downstairs – the owners sourced original tiles to match the existing floor when they built the extension – and any additions have been carefully considered to fit with the era and style of the house. There is a wood-burning stove in the corner of the main living space.

Span housing was typically located on quiet roads or in carefully landscaped small cul-de-sacs, with welcoming detail such as tile-hanging or weatherboarding, a total contrast to the council estates of the same period. The majority of Span sites were placed in the outer London suburbs, like Wimbledon, locations which offered the advantage of peaceful settings and existing mature landscapes and trees.

The house is close to Wimbledon Common (approximately five minutes’ walk) and both Putney and Wimbledon town centres are within a 10-minute drive (approximately). Southfields Underground Station (District Line) is around half a mile away where one can also find a parade of local shops and cafes. The A3 is nearby for quick access out of London.

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.

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Eric Lyons

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.

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