Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry's 'ideal homes' to be celebrated with exhibition

One of the houses today Image copyright Picture supplied by Anna Douglas
Image caption Homeowner Anna Douglas says she 'fell in love' with the bungalow

Four surviving 1950s "ideal homes" are to be celebrated in Coventry.

The four flat-roofed bungalows were built in 1959 in Allesley, to the west of the city, following a competition by Ideal Homes Magazine and the Royal Institute of British Architects.

An exhibition and performance, funded by Arts Council England, is to be staged in one of the homes during a heritage weekend in September.

Architect Geoffrey Salmon said the homes were "very unusual".

Mr Salmon won a contest named The Small House Competition to build the homes, on Bexfield Close, for a £75 prize.

Carport confusion

"They got 1,000 entries and I was one of the lucky ones," he said. "They were trying to achieve an environment for young, modern people.

"Modern things had not been developed very much in those days. Things like flat roofs, central heating and carports were unusual."

He said the homes had been well-received with the exception of the carports.

"Nobody knew what a carport was," he said.

Image copyright Ideal Homes/ RIBA press photo
Image caption The homes were described as 'extremely experimental' at the time

Anna Douglas, who owns one of the bungalows, said the house was 90% in its original condition.

"We fell in love with it and we spent quite a lot of time renovating it," she said.

She said references to the houses can be found in the archives at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where they are described as, "exceedingly experimental and perhaps a bit beyond public taste."

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