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.
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.
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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A new museum will open in London in 2021
Several small London museums are not sure if they will be able to reopen after the pandemic but meanwhile a new museum will definitely open in 2021.
This is the Bow Street Police Museum on the history of crime and prisons in central London over the last few centuries. It will be located inside a famous courthouse and police station on Bow Street.
This place was important because it had seen the birth of the first organized police force. Also here was a famous tribunal until 2006 which saw many important trials. For example, Oscar Wilde and the famous murderer Dr Crippen were tried here and also some high profile IRA cases. The Bow Street Police Station operated until 1992.
Visitors to the museum will also be able to enter the ‘tank’ which is the place where drunks found on the street were kept until they were sober again. The museum is expected to open in early 2021, obviously a lot depends on the developments of the pandemic.
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