22 Parkside or Rogers House as it’s also known, was a blueprint for industrialised housing and a radical departure from more common building methods of the time. It follows a modular format that would allow for the renewal of technology and developing needs over time made possible by the long-life steel portal frame structure, giving the house its iconic appearance. The property is characterised by the then-radical use of fully glazed facades to create a contemporary composition of courtyards, gardens and linked interior space.
Gifted to the University by Lord Rogers and Ruth Rogers, the importance of this building is marked by its Grade 2* heritage listing status, and it beautifully demonstrates the architect’s interest of urbanism within architecture.
Oozing modernist industrial design, Richard Rogers’ single-storey sixties house is the new HQ for The Harvard GSD’s Richard Rogers fellowship programme. Academic Fellows who are taking part in the three-month residency for the research of alternative and sustainable urban futures will enjoy the relaxed, open atmosphere of 22 Parkside. The bright, open-plan setting can also be used for seminars and events run by the University.
Gumuchdjian Architects, whose founder Philip Gumuchdjian worked alongside the Richard Rogers Partnership for 18 years before setting up his own practice, led the recent renovation. The ethos was to maintain the design’s character rather than the fabric of the building itself.
“Gumuchdjian Architects’ proposition to Harvard GSD was to return the house to its original condition, albeit modified to their specific needs,” explains Philip Gumuchdjian. “As ever, the success of the project was entirely supported by the vision and sensitivity of the client. Our seemingly simple proposition, tempered by the wish to exploit the advantages of modern materials, resulted in the replacement of the entire roof and all of its asbestos-filled external walls, the demolition of recently added buildings, the removal of new internal partitions, the replacement of its servicing system, the refurbishment and redecoration of the joinery and the reconstruction of the garden in its entirety”.
The renovated Wimbledon House include two wetrooms within the lodge, fully clad in HI-MACS® surfaces. Fresh, clean and contemporary, these showering spaces offer practicality combined with a sleek, seamless finish perfect for modern living. Strong, hardwearing and aesthetically appealing, HI-MACS® is solid throughout. Virtually scratchproof, it is also non-porous, making it easy to clean and resistant to stains, moisture and sunlight – the ultimate choice for the legacy of modern design.
“At 22 Parkside, we required a complete wet room solution for the new en-suite shower rooms in the ‘lodge’ building. The solution had to be of high quality and aesthetically pure, while being equally robust in use to complement the original 1968 design. The result is an apparently seamless custom-made wet room material, lining the shower room walls and floors” - Michael Ramwell, Project Architect for Gumuchdjian Architects
Perfect for wetrooms and bathrooms
Martin Saxby, Country Manager for LG Hausys in the UK comments: “HI-MACS® is a solid surface material that can be thermoformed into any shape. It is widely used in wetrooms and bathrooms, but also in kitchens, healthcare, public spaces, wall-cladding and various other bespoke pieces.
“Many natural stone and timber surfaces, when used in the home, need time and care. HI-MACS® is maintenance-free, apart from normal everyday cleaning, and of course it’s totally non-porous, and seamless so is ultra-hygienic too – with nowhere for germs to lurk.
“LG Hausys’ HI-MACS® uses a simple heating process to give three-dimensional thermoplastic forming capabilities, allows visually seamless designs, offers a virtually limitless range of colours and so we’re able to offer the longest guarantee for a solid surface material, 15 years if installed by a Quality Club fabricator.”
Chris Cook, Managing Director of Solidity Ltd comments: “The skylights and exposed beams Richard Rogers chose to put over these wetrooms shows the difference and value a brilliant architect can add. In the 15 years we have been using HI-MACS® to make our unique wetroom floor and wall system we have seen a lot of great architecture but these spaces are special. We are delighted to have been chosen to provide part of this fabulous project.”
A legacy remembered
“22 Parkside is not just an iconic, flexible machine for living nor simply a historic experimental building that foretold the architect's future work; it is a home and garden with a unique memory, patina and aura. Conserving these qualities within a wholly-renewed twenty-first century urban composition was our aim and hopefully the achievement of the team's work” says Philip Gumuchdjian.