21 June 2011
Kingston University is about to go behind the rhododendrons
and poke its nose into the drawing rooms and lounges of suburban southern England. The university is producing
the first critical study of one of the architects whose designs helped shape the outskirts of London, where the
capital merges into the home counties.
The study which has attracted £81,272 in funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council will be based on
the work of modernist architect Kenneth Wood who recently donated archival materials, including models, plans
and drawings, private papers and personal photographs, to the University.
‘While there has been a lot of research into – and comment on – London’s urban
architecture of the 50s and 60s, the outer boroughs have been largely neglected,’ researcher Dr Fiona Fisher
said. ‘The suburbs were a growth area, an arena in which a generation of modernist architects could establish
The research has already attracted interest from the Twentieth Century Society which hopes to draw on Dr
Fisher’s work to help persuade local authorities to safeguard properties from this era.
The picture they use shows Wood’s house in Kingston, Surrey, built for cosmetics manufacturer Stanley Picker in