2 Willow Road, the strange home of architect Goldfinger

Ernö Goldfinger was a Hungarian modernist and brutalist architect based in the United Kingdom. This was his London home which is located in Hampstead Green.

Goldfinger is particularly well known for the Trellick Tower project, a building in west London that is hated by many. Bad as it may be, the apartments are highly sought after and in any case rather well designed. It is debated whether architecture should be primarily practical or aesthetically beautiful and the Trellick Tower is a classic example of a building that might look unpleasant but is very functional.

Top Photo: © Copyright Mike Quinn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

He also planned the Balfron Tower in East London. 2 Willow House was built in 1937 and remained the home of the Goldfinger family, even after the architect’s death in 1987. It now belongs to the National Trust. 

Trellick Tower

The design of the house was certainly innovative, outside it looks normal with a brick facade, inside it has a staircase created by Danish designer Ove Arup that takes up little space.

If you come this far you will not only be able to admire an example of practical modernist architecture, but inside you will find modernist works of art by Ozenfant, Delauney, Max Ernst, Henry Moore, Man Ray and Bridget Riley. All of these works were part of Goldfinger’s collection. You will also see rather original and innovative furniture even today.

Is 2 Willow Road worth visiting?

Yes, if you are even vaguely interested in modernist art and architecture, you will have an interesting couple of hours. It is located in Hampstead, precisely at 2 Willow Road, NW3 1TH. You have to check when it is open, with the pandemic it has had to close like all museums.

The museum is small and you will visit it in about an hour, a little longer if you stop and look at the objects. It has no restaurant or public bathrooms. It is approximately 800 meters from Hampstead tube station on the Northern Line. Admission is £ 6, free if you are a member of the National Trust which runs the museum and house.

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