The battle of the bungalows

A row of Seventies homes under threat in Belsize Park has united a group of star-architects in a bid to save them from the bulldozers
The threatened bungalows
The threatened steel-and-glass bungalows in Belsize Park, north London
Saving bungalows isn’t exactly the cause you would expect to boil the blood of big-name international super-architects of the ilk of Richard Rogers, Ron Arad and Seth Stein.

But Britain’s “beautiful” single-storey homes of the Seventies are under threat and their glittering champions have been joined by city developer Lord Palumbo in a bid to save them from demolition.

Richard Rogers, designer of the Lloyds Building, Pompidou Centre and the O2, has expressed “horror” after the row of steel-and-glass bungalows in north London were refused listed status by the Government, paving the way for them to be torn down, despite the support of English Heritage

Camden council is due to rule on March 17, 2011, on proposals to replace them with two grand, four-storey houses clad in Portland stone, with basements containing the now-obligatory features of high-end residences: an underground swimming pool and cinema room.

Ron Arad described the bungalows as “one of the few examples of brave, idealistic architecture” in the neighbourhood,” while Seth Stein said they were an important historic example of prefabricated architecture in the UK and should be preserved.

Lord Rogers, who used to live locally, described the bungalows as beautiful and elegant. He said, in a letter of support: “I watched them being built as I lived in the neighbourhood. It is my belief that this house should be listed as it has special architectural merit.”

Pressure group Save Belsize was set up to fight the plans. “The existing building is architecturally excellent as recognised internationally in journals and exhibitions,” said a spokesperson.

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