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Tyne and Wear HER(15089): Woolsington, Walker House - Details

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Woolsington, Walker House





Detached House



Extant Building

Ryder and Yates designed 14 private houses across the North. 12 were built. They all shared characteristic themes in plan, form and use of materials. But the houses were specific to each client and site. The houses were generally narrow and linear in plan. Secondary spaces were housed in linked pods. Entrances were marked by some sort of sculptural element. Spaces were divided by columns or staircases. All houses had a dominant fireplace. External columns allowed facades to be entirely glazed. Roofs were always flat and animated by roof lights, canopies, chimneys and water tanks. A mixture of old and new materials were used. The Walker House (built in 1952 for Dr. W. Walker) was unique in that it was based on three intersecting squares set at 45 degrees. This created an open plan (rather than tradional rooms off a central corridor). The intersecting squares produced odd corners that were used to good effect. The long sitting room (16m) had a fully glazed wall giving access into the garden. The all-glass wall at the front of the main bedroom opened onto a balcony. The rear wall was painted magenta and had a square central window. Peter Yates described this as 'an eyeglass on the world'. The house had a freestanding fireplace in the centre of the sitting room with a trapezoidal brick flue. The central heating boiler with cylindrical white flue which extended up through the open stairwell to the roof, was in the hallway with the staircase wrapped around them. The house was built in traditional materials, brickwork and timber windows, with a felt-covered mono-pitched roof. Gordon Ryder had suggested a copper roof covering but this was turned down due to cost.




Rutter Carroll, 2009, Ryder and Yates - Twentieth Century Architects, p 17-18

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