The English House 1900-1939

Ref: C2224562

In the early twentieth century plutocrats built lavish houses, fitted with the latest technology. Lutyens was the great architect for the rich whether they wanted the old English style or classical grandeur. He was not alone, Voysey created his own distinctive version of the domestic vernacular, as did other architects associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. The growing belief that good housing was essential for all was reflected in local authority estates. Good housing should also be beautiful and healthy and this lay behind model factory towns like Port Sunlight and to garden cities and suburbs. Speculators were anxious to take advantage of the increasing numbers of people who could afford to buy a house and suburbia grew round stations and along main roads. Often they adopted details borrowed from Arts and Crafts design. Alternatively were houses influenced, however, distantly, by the international modern movement, streamlined, elegant and usually expensive.

Course aim

A study of house design 1900-1945, from mansions to suburban semis in the age homes fit for heroes, the Arts and Crafts movement and of garden villages and suburbs.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Discuss the evolution and significance of garden cities and garden suburbs
  • Identify some of the reasons why vernacular revival was so popular
  • Recognise the various forms of modernism reflected in house design in the 1930s
  • Explain some of the influence on suburban housing in the pre-1945 period

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full Course information sheet

The English House 1900-1939


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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