THE BRITS WHO BUILT THE MODERN WORLD  

Hopkins House

Built

1976

Location

London, United Kingdom
Hopkins' House, Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: the garden front

The idea that a house assembled from industrial components could be built and fit into the Regency and Victorian suburbs of Hampstead, London, may seem unlikely, but Michael and Patricia Hopkins' house created a domestic environment for their family within the industrial context of a High Tech building. In its first ten years it was both the Hopkins's family home and offices for their newly founded architectural practice; a machine for both living and working in.

…cool austere elegance

A rectangular box of metal, glass and not much else, Hopkins House is divided into two storeys, accessed from the street by a short footbridge that leads to the upper floor. The metal deck floors and walls of glass and steel are supported by a steel frame. There is an economic use of materials and the structure is clearly expressed inside and out. 

…proves once again that a modern aesthetic, when carried out with conviction, can provoke a fruitful dialogue with its older neighbours


Hopkins001-(660x365)
Sir Michael Hopkins and Lady Patricia Hopkins, 1989

Eames House, California, designed by Charles and Ray Eames, completed in 1949, was an early pioneer in using factory components to create a home, but Hopkins House went further. Most internal spaces are separated only by Venetian blinds to allow flexibility, with plastic panels for bathrooms and bedrooms to create additional privacy. Its full-height glass walls on the garden and street façades create a bright environment, and blinds allow occupants to control the entry of light and levels of privacy. It was the start of a line of innovative High Tech buildings designed by the Hopkins until the 1990s that offered the opportunity for mass production. 

Hopkins' House, Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: the living areaHopkins' House, Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: the studio on the upper levelHopkins' House, Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: the garden front

QUOTES ABOUT hopkins house

‘…one of the icons of modernity.’
Cristina Donati in Michael Hopkins, p.26
‘…cool austere elegance…’
Barbara Goldstein in Progressive Architecture, July 1978, p.50
‘…proves once again that a modern aesthetic, when carried out with conviction, can provoke a fruitful dialogue with its older neighbours.’
Architectural Review, 1977 December, p.336

×