On view: Houses by Peter Aldington

The domestic architecture of Peter Aldington is the subject of a new book published by RIBA – Houses by Peter Aldington. Made possible through the generous support of many, including Allies and Morrison, the book brings together the post-war houses that he designed himself or with his two partners John Craig and Paul Collinge.

Aldington, who is responsible for the most listed Grade II listed buildings of any architect still alive, drew from many influences and has influenced many. His architecture incorporated new and old elements and materials to create spaces that are at once modern but vernacular. Bob Allies, writing for Building Design in 1978 in a review of Aldington’s Lyde End houses in Bledlow, Buckinghamshire, identified then an approach that ‘does not ape the vernacular. Instead [Aldington and Craig] have observed the various components that constitute it, selected those of most relevance, and then reassembled them into new and appropriate forms’.

These are modern, yet pastoral places. Carefully crafted and often at a polite scale, Aldington’s houses blurred the distinctions between indoors and outdoors. Garden design therefore became an equally important part of his projects as the houses themselves. There are cosmopolitan connotations in his work – one may see hints of Japan or the Mediterranean, whether intentional or not – but each project was very locally considered. It is a disposition that has helped to inform the design approach of many, including the architecture of Allies and Morrison.

On 21st April, the practice hosted the book launch of Houses, coinciding with a private view of an exhibition at our studios about Aldington’s own home, the Turn End in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire. Still his private family home today, a trust has been established to preserve this landmark for future generations. The practice is a Founding Friend of the Turn End Trust.

‘A lot of architects my age were influenced by Aldington’, says Partner Chris Bearman, ‘this is work which is modest, relevant and beautiful’.
The exhibition ‘Turn End by Peter Aldington’ is on view at Allies and Morrison weekdays from 22 April to 6 May, from 10:00am to 5:00pm at 85 Southwark Street, London SE1 0HX. It is open to the public.

The book ‘Houses by Peter Aldington’ is available for purchase through RIBA Bookshops.