Architect: Hermann Zweigenthal
This exemplary five-bedroom house with private garden, off-street parking and integral garage, can be found on highly coveted Maresfield Gardens. It was designed by Austrian-German architect Hermann Zweigenthal, a friend and colleague of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, in 1938, and stands as a rare and important precursor of the contemporary template for modern living.
The modernist exterior focuses on simplified geometric forms, with large swathes of asymmetric glazing, and the limited detail of painted steel balustrades. These Bauhaus principles extend within, where natural light is prevalent throughout and ground-floor spaces offer versatile inter-connectivity and interaction with the outside.
Entry is via a front courtyard to the glazed front door. An entrance hall, with guest WC, leads to the rear of the property and an expansive double reception of impressive volume. Floor-to-ceiling timber doors concertina at the room’s mid-point, partitioning dining and living room. Original parquet flooring extends across the space, as does a wall of bi-fold glazing with doors to the rear terrace and garden beyond. A full-height sliding door opens to reveal a further reception / study space, allowing the three rooms to be linked in a continuous open-plan.
The kitchen remains separate but is linked to the dining room through an original sliding service hatch. From the kitchen there is external side access, and steps to the basement for access to the double garage, a separate WC, and a wine cellar.
Ascending to the first floor, beneath the light of a large west-facing window, is a wide staircase with original steel and timber balustrade. On the first floor are three large bedrooms with balcony access, two smaller bedrooms and three bathrooms, one with original bath, panels, taps and cistern. Doors and handles throughout are also original.
Maresfield Gardens is a quiet residential street, well situated for access to the shops, restaurants and Underground station in Hampstead Village, as well as the open spaces of Hampstead Heath. Many of London’s best independent schools are within a short walk of the house. Within five minutes’ walk are Finchley Road Underground Station (Jubilee & Metropolitan Lines), Hampstead (Northern Line) and Finchley Road & Frognal London Overground Station.
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.
Hermann Zweigenthal was born in Vienna, Austria in 1904. He studied architecture between 1922 and 1927 at the Technical University of Berlin earning a diploma under Hans Poelzig. Approximately two years after completing his degree he co-designed the iconic Kant garage, the first multi-storey garage in Berlin and one of the few existing examples of industrial Bauhaus architecture.
During the 1930s he turned to residential architecture, designing for, among others, Erich Maria Remarque (author of All Quiet on the Western Front, 1928) and Viennese author Arthur Schnitzler . He arrived in London in 1935 where he joined other Modernist architects at the MARS group, an influential think-tank founded by Morton Shand, Wells Coates, Maxwell Fry and F. R. S. Yorke. In 1938 he was commissioned to design the house at Maresfield Gardens.
Following an invitation from Walter Gropius (founder of the Bauhaus School) to teach at Harvard in 1940, Zweigenthal moved to the U.S, where in subsequent years he designed private houses in New York and an apartment block in Massachusetts.