Trobridge show in Brent

buck laneThe Brent Museum is staging an exhibition about Ernest Trobridge, the architect who lived and worked in the Borough in the early 20th century. The exhibition – EG Trobridge: Visionary of the Suburbs – runs at the Willesden-based Brent Museum until 24 September.

He was influenced by Swedenborg’s theories of balance between nature and architecture. His houses reflect Swedenborgian symbolism, and many still exist in the borough. Early examples from just after the First World War used unseasoned elm. Chimneys, supporting columns and fireplaces were built in brick and tile, and roofs were thatched, with a water sprinkler system in case of fire.

He believed his system would go a long way towards alleviating the housing shortage of the post-war years, providing good quality affordable housing for the people who needed it most.

He built the Ferndene Estate on 10 acres at the junction of Kingsbury Road and Slough Lane in 1922, with each house costing 20% less than the typical cost at that time.

Other surviving Trobridge designs can be seen in Old Church Lane, Kingsbury, Wakeman’s Hill and Buck Lane (pictured).

Though not a famous architect in the mainstream of architectural development, Trobridge’s work has a quality of being out of time and place that makes many of his ideas seem relevant today.


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