Architect: Neave Brown

Rowley Way
London NW8

£499,000
Leasehold

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

This very fine two-bedroom ex-Local Authority duplex, with large balcony, is located on the iconic Alexandra & Ainsworth Estate in South Hampstead. Built between 1972 and 1978 to a design by the revered Modernist architect Neave Brown, the development has been given a rare Grade II* listing by English Heritage in recognition of its architectural significance.

The flat has its own entrance, and is arranged over two floors. The raised ground floor contains two bedrooms and a family bathroom. Upstairs is a fantastic open-plan reception / dining / kitchen area, looking south over the newly refurbished communal gardens with the reception room opening on to a large balcony.

This flat has a particularly good position on the estate just off Abbey Road, with green views to the rear. It has been sensitively refurbished by the current owners. The best original features have been retained, including the full-height sliding doors that separate the kitchen and living areas, the timber staircase and the wonderful glazed timber-framed sliding doors to the terrace.

Rowley Way is located near the amenities of London’s famous Abbey Road, with a further range of shops, cafés and restaurants of St. John’s Wood. The open spaces of Primrose Hill and Regent’s Park are also within walking distance. The Underground is available at nearby Swiss Cottage (Jubilee Line), and the Overground at South Hampstead.

With its striking stepped concrete terraces, the Alexandra & Ainsworth Estate (also known as Alexandra Road) is the most famous of the social housing schemes built during Camden’s “golden age” in the 1960s and 1970s. Neave Brown has just been awarded the 2018 Royal Gold Medal, the UK’s highest honour for architecture. Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty The Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence ‘either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture’.

Tenure: Leasehold
Lease: 110 years remaining
Service charge: approx. £1,963 per annum
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

In 1990, Martin Pawley wrote in the Guardian that ‘Alexandra Road is like an epic silent film. It suffers from having been released into a different world to that which it was conceived…set on the very cusp of the change from socialism to the me-generation.’

By 1965, the London Borough of Camden was gaining a reputation as one of the most progressive boroughs in the country and had appointed Sydney Cook as Borough Architect and Director of Housing. Cook was constantly challenging the government’s push for high-rise buildings and he started by appointing the architect Neave Brown who set about delivering a series of low rise, high-density schemes.

One such scheme, arguably the most notable of the era, was the Alexandra and Ainsworth estate. Completed in 1978, and covering an area of approximately 6.47 hectares, the estate is formed of two distinctive parallel terraces that run along a gentle curve, divided by a kilometre-long red-brick road.

Neave Brown’s design was largely finalised in 1968 but the completion of the project was delayed by difficult site conditions and the inevitable problems when using specialised construction on such a large scale. By the time of its completion, the project had cost nearly £20.9 million; it arguably remains the most expensive social housing scheme ever constructed in this country.


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Neave Brown

Neave Brown (b.1929) was born in Utica, New York State, and was educated in the USA and at the Architectural Association in London. He has built many residential houses and housing estates in England, Italy and the Netherlands. In the UK, his high-density modernist social housing is based on the principles of the London terraced house and on the notion of flexible space. Brown’s radical Alexandra & Ainsworth Estate (also known as Alexandra Road) is the most famous of the social-housing schemes completed in the London Borough of Camden during its architectural “Golden Age” in the 1960s – others include the Dunboyne Estate, also by Neave Brown, Benson & Forsyth’s Branch Hill and Maiden Lane, and Peter Tabori’s Highgate New Town. Brown believed that every home should have its own front door and its own private external space, open to the sky, in the form of a roof garden or terrace. It was these ideas that he incorporated to such striking effect at Alexandra Road. The estate incorporates a dramatic centrepiece, a 350m-long curving pedestrian street lined on either side by stepped terraces that extend along its full length. In addition to teaching at several schools in England, Europe and America, Brown has held many prestigious positions including Vice President of the Architectural Association (1972-74). More recently, he completed a BA in Fine Art at the City and Guilds of London School of Art and now dedicates himself to practising fine art.

Key Residential Projects
Housing estates in London
Terrace of houses in London


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