The Family Home of Architect Ernö Goldfinger

Small Space Inspiration

While not necessarily small in size, the London home of modernist architect Ernö Goldfinger, which was designed in 1939 and is now a museum, employs a number of ingenious space-saving solutions that are still inspiring today.

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Well-organized vertical shelving and a built-in desk in Ernö Goldfinger's studio, ©NTPL/Dennis Gilbert

The building, located at 2 Willow Road in Hampstead, was quite controversial when it was proposed and its construction was opposed by many neighbors who did not appreciate the destruction of the cottages that were previously on the site or the building's modern lines. One of those neighbors was James Bond creator Ian Fleming who supposedly named his villain, Auric Goldfinger, after the architect. Villain-or-no, Goldfinger was clearly an innovator whose ideas are well worth appreciating to this day.

1. The bedroom utilizes wall-mounted lamps and hanging shelves which are both excellent ways to preserve floor space.
2. The guest bedroom includes a fold-away bed.
3. Many of the walls were designed as partitions that can open or close off the rooms. The compartments below the landing next to the stairs contain drawers, a brilliant storage solution.
4. The glass wall in the entry hall includes compartments for displaying objects and even includes a compartment for holding the mail.
5. These gorgeous built-in shelves were originally designed for the nursery which was later used as an office.

The home has been preserved by The National Trust which operates tours through the spring, summer and fall. Visit The National Trust website for tour details and more information about the home's design and architecture. Additional images of 2 Willow Road can be seen and purchased at The National Trust Photo Library.

Images: ©NTPL/Dennis Gilbert

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