Tyne and Wear HER(15091): Tynemouth, Grand Parade, Liddell House - Details
Tynemouth, Grand Parade, Liddell House
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 house at Tynemouth was designed for James Liddell, builder, who Gordon Ryder had met at Tynemouth Sailing Club. He had commissioned housing schemes from Ryder in Tynemouth, Whitley Bay, Bournemouth and Torquay. Liddell's house was built in 1958. It was featured in the Daily Express, which described it thus: 'You have to go far to find The House Where the Rainbow Ends. I have found it. It has colour. Space. Light. And warmth. And it glimmers - for a house like this couldn't just stand'…. 'the brightly painted front door, set like a jewel among squares of coloured glass, blazed a welcome. The Liddells, who love the sea, could afford to let their architect have a free hand'. Unlike the other Ryder and Yates houses, this was a tight urban site on the sea front. It was a three storey townhouse. The ground floor was reinforced concrete and included a lattice screen to the street, inset with glass blocks. The first and second floors were brick with ribbon windows. The ground floor accommodated the entrance hallway and a service access to the adjoining property. The hallway had an extraordinary modelled plaster ceiling, a highly polished black and white chequered floor and mirror-faced doors. There was a mural by Peter Yates on the quarter landing. The living room was on the first floor. This had an oversized arched fireplace faced in patterned tiles. The curved projecting base contained planting troughs. The gable wall behind the exposed flue was faced in mosaic. 14 marble brackets displayed the Liddell's collection of teapots. There was another Peter Yates mural in the kitchen, depicting food and another on the top landing of the Dome in Florence. The chimney was Vanbrugh-style. Unfortunately the house has been much altered. The upper floor windows have been replaced. The lattice ceiling in the hallway still survives as does the tiled fireplace. However the house is now a holiday rental and the present owner  hopes to restore the house.
Rutter Carroll, 2009, Ryder and Yates - Twentieth Century Architects, p 27-30; Anne Glidewell, 10 April 1958, 'Stunner', Daily Express; Newcastle Journal, 17 September 1957, 'Modern Architects make best use of Modern Techniques'; Architectural Review, August 1957, pp 105-7; Alan Powers, 1995, 'Welcoming the new pretenders', Perspectives, January 1995, pp 36-7, potential listing of Liddell House