Exhibition Cottage Letchworth

In 1905 an exhibition of cheap cottages was held at the Garden City of Letchworth, England. More than just stylistic innovations, almost all the homes presented offered significant improvements in plumbing, including water tanks and newly designed boilers providing hot water and allowing the use of bathtubs and toilets. . While most of the dwellings were designed in the Arts and Crafts style, many architects, in order to save money and build within budget constraints imposed by the competition, experimented with new construction methods and materials. One solution was, for example, to reduce the amount of exposed brick: various finishes, such as plaster or plaster, were then used to hide less expensive masonry; other saving strategies were to use a wood frame on the upper floors or to reduce the foundation by cleverly grouping the chimney flues. Some cottages used new prefabrication systems, such as the one built by Concrete Machinery Company, with concrete blocks cast in place using a hand-held portable device. Designed by Gilbert Fraser, this type of cheaper construction made it possible to build larger houses: rectangular in size, they had three rooms plus a kitchen and a separate kitchen on the ground floor and three bedrooms upstairs. At the 1905 exhibition, the two groups of four strip cottages designed by Geoffrey Lucas (1872-1947), built for First Garden City Ltd. , won the contest in the category Grouped Cottages. Assembled two by two, the houses were covered with a roof with double slope, the chimneys being located on the side gables walls. The stairs, installed in the center of the plane on either side of the bended middle wall, made it possible to free up space. As for the toilets, still installed outside, they were however connected to the house, sheltered under a porch in the back where one could also store bicycles and other household objects. The band layout and the skewed layout of the houses offered some privacy to the gardens and the common lawn on the front. The cottages designed by Dunkerley for the Letchworth Building Syndicate were larger and more elaborate than the previous ones. The stairwell and the vestibule were more spacious, the toilets were in the house and the ground floor was divided into two living rooms for different uses in summer and winter, separated by an installation. heating and hot water. In these model cottages, the arrangement of the stove, boiler and bath – which could be fixed or folding – was such that the fire used in a room for heating and cooking served at the same time to heat the stove. water for laundry and bath. In the summer, a second fireplace located under the boiler allowed to heat only the water. Toilet access was unobtrusive, with a closed back porch or, in another configuration, by the kitchen / utility area. The scullery was located in a recess that could be closed for more discretion. Built of brick up to the first floor, the house had an attic roof with a wooden frame and a roof made of mechanical tiles. The group of cottages designed by Courtenay Melville Crickmer (1879-1971) included houses of variable size – one of three rooms, one of five and two of four – arranged in pairs around the chimneys, which were grouped against the adjoining walls. . The largest rooms were equipped with a hearth while the toilets and the coal storage were laid out under a covered porch at the rear of the building. The bathtub, installed in the kitchen, also served as a worktop.


Civil Engineer



Time & Place






1 Paddock Close, Letchworth Garden City, Vereinigtes Königreich



Floors: 2



Staircases: 2

Units per Staircase 

Units per staircase: 1

Units per Floor 

Units per floor: 2


Unit Area

Plot Area

Floor Area Typical

Area Total

Podium Area

Courtyard Area

Ground floor Area


Parking Spaces



2 appartments