National Trust, National Treasures, Willow Road and The Homewood on DVD.
National Trust: National Treasures is a private tour of a selection of The National Trust's spectacular houses, castles and abbeys. Here, the Goldfinger-designed Modernist London house, 2 Willow Road and Patrick Gwynne's Modernist Surrey house, The Homewood.
- An artsworld production
- An exclusive private tour of a National Trust property
- Approximately 1 hour running time
In a world of late trains, lousy weather and international sporting losses, it's easy to forget the things Britain is uniquely good at. Constitutional monarchies, for example, or Marmite, depending on your point of view. But perhaps best of all is The National Trust. Where would we be without the Trust's meticulously-preserved historic houses, beautifully-tended gardens or, (let's face it) diet-endingly delicious cream teas?
The National Trust was founded in 1895 by Victorian philanthropists. Over a century later, it now looks after over 612,000 acres of countryside in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 700-plus miles of coastline and over 200 houses and gardens, monuments and mills, and churches and chapels of outstanding interest and importance.
This series, National Trust: National Treasures examines a selection of these properties in detail. It takes you on a private guided tour of the selected properties, charting each of their often colourful histories and revealing a selection of their art treasures - from 17th-century tapestries and Renaissance stained glass to sculptures by Henry Moore and oriental rugs - with the help of the Trust's many and varied experts. Atmospheric, lavishly-shot and with great attention to detail and illuminating explanations from members of the properties' staff, it's almost as good a good as being there - although of course, you do have to provide your own scones and jam…
The architect Ernö Goldfinger designed and built the house as his family home in 1939. Goldfinger conceived the design for 1-3 Willow Road as both a functional home for his growing family and as an opportunity to explore his talents as an architect. The site was formerly occupied by four small cottages, facing a triangle of north-facing open land, and was perfect for reflecting Goldfinger's ideas for giving his buildings a sense of light and space. The central house of a terrace of three, it is one of Britain's most important examples of Modernist architecture and is filled with furniture also designed by Goldfinger.
In addition, many of the Goldfingers' friends were leading figures in the art world, who offered varied and often personal examples of their work to the collection. The art collection includes a number of significant British and European 20th-century works by Bridget Riley, Max Ernst and Henry Moore amongst others. Now on show throughout 2 Willow Road, these works help paint a vivid picture of the social and creative life of the architect and his wife.
In the same vein, The Homewood is a magnificent house and landscaped garden, in Esher, Surrey, designed by architect Patrick Gwynne. Its smopth, curved lines, geometric shapes and acres of glass reflect the style and ethos of the Modern Movement.
Of the property's main features, the central spiral staircase and the landscaped garden with its stream and series of ponds are among the most striking. The principal living area however, is the living room, a light, open-plan, multi-functional space whose smooth, functional appearance pays homage to the cabinet-maker's art. This is a room that exemplifies Modernism, from Gwynne's Eames lounge chair to the couch, attached to the wall, but which could be pivoted out so that the built-in projection screen could be raised and angled when Gwynne wanted to show his home movies - to the two seating and lounging areas for day-time near the windows, another for the evening centred on the fireplace.