Richard and Su Rogers' Spender House listed
English Heritage recommended grade II listing for steel-framed home
Richard and Su Rogers’ Spender House near Maldon, Essex has been given a grade II listing.
The building, inspired by architects including Raphael Soriano and Craig Ellwood, was commissioned in 1968 by architectural photographer Humphrey Spender.
The Spender House is essentially a steel-framed box, divided into a regular grid pattern to allow for a car port and a courtyard space. This concept would be further developed for the Rogers House in Wimbledon and also forms the basis for the Zip Up Prototype Housing Unit.
Rogers said: “The design of buildings such as the Pompidou Centre with Renzo Piano, Lloyd’s of London, Fleetguard Factory in Quimper, Inmos and Leadenhall can all be traced back to these two houses.”
Su Rogers added: “The design was a direct outcome of our experiences in building three houses using traditional methods of construction – Creek Vean and the two houses in Murray Mews. All were subject to long delays, faulty workmanship and sometimes poor materials.
“It seemed a good moment to move on to the use of “hi tech” materials allowing for precision and speed of construction.”
English Heritage recommended to the Department for Culture Media and Sport that the Spender House should be listed at grade II because it represents one of the first steel-framed houses in England, inspired by the lightweight aesthetic for residences developed in California in the 1950s.
The Spender House is one of few projects by Richard and Su Rogers after the disbanding of Team 4, the architecture practice they ran with Norman Foster and his wife Wendy.