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Houghton House
Houghton, Johannesburg, Gauteng

GRINKER and SKELLY: Architect


Cumming George 1934

EVEN those to whom the modern style of architecture could be called the controversial style can have little to complain of in this example of 2Oth century designing.

The rooms are arranged so that every room gets the north-east sun.

The lounge has panel lighting, and the fireplace surround is of sand blasted glass set on a brightly coloured background of futuristic design.

The dining-room is a symphony of black and green. The long refectory table is jet black with a glass top.

The breakfast-room is bright and sunny in buff-coloured horizontal bands, the furniture being steel and glass.

Upstairs the main bedroom has one wall entirely of glass.

The nursery is green and ivory, including beds and other furniture; with a window seat with toy cupboards underneath.

The study, which is the only room not facing north, is cool and inviting, with built-in book shelves and a window seat. From this room a door opens onto a roof-garden arranged on the flat roof of the outbuildings.

The spare room has been subjected to a bold experiment, the ceiling being painted dead black. The woodwork is red, and the dados and furniture cream.

The bathroom is finished in black tiles with white joints, the bath and basin being in a shade of yellow and the woodwork to match.

The furniture throughout has been specially designed to suit the various rooms. Also the door handles, electric light fittings, etc., which were made locally.

Externally the house is colour-washed cream, with a black painted band running round at the roof level.

The doors are enamelled black and the windows vermilion.

(AB&E Feb 1934:29)

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Books that reference Houghton House

Cumming-George, L. 1934. Architecture in South Africa - Volume Two. Cape Town: The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd.. pg 55-56