Woodsford Square W14 loading now

Woodsford Square was built by Wates Ltd in conjunction with the Ilchester Estate, one of the large London estates which owns property around Holland Park in the late 1960s and early 70s as a high-grade townhouse development surrounding beautiful private landscape gardens.

The development is widely regarded as one of the finest of its kind and merits several references in the North West London edition of Pevsner’s “The Buildings of England” viz “intricately planned Woodsford Square – its straightforward detail a refreshing contrast to the feeble version of neo-Georgian favoured by so many of the more affluent housing developments of the time”.

The architects were Fry Drew & Partners. Maxwell Fry trained under Ludvig Mies Van der Rohe, one of the most highly regarded Modernist architects of the 20th century. He then worked in partnership in the mid 1930s with Walter Gropius, probably the leading exponent of the Modernist school, before going into partnership with his wife, Jane Drew.

Many similarities to the architecture of Woodsford Square can be seen with the house designed for his own occupation by Erno Goldfinger, another leading 20th century Modernist architect, at 2 Willow Road in Hampstead which was built in 1939 and is now owned by the National Trust and open to the public.

The architects’ approach to the design of these houses emanates from the principles of the Modern Movement – which was a major driving force in architecture and the plastic arts throughout the 20th century. In simple terms this could be described as “sculpting space within a formal structure and language, developing the interplay between horizontal and vertical plains, retaining a fundamental simplicity of detail, materials and colour.”

In order to protect the integrity of this fine group of buildings it is vital that alterations are handled within a disciplined and defined framework.