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Architect Edwin Lutyens
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Location Ilkley, Yorkshire, England   map
Date 1906   timeline
Building Type large house
 Construction System bearing masonry
Climate temperate
Context suburban
Style English Rennaisance
Notes "Hemingway House"




Available on The GBC CD-ROM.   Contributions appreciated

Discussion Heathcote Commentary

"A villa on a suburban site of four acres in the prosperous outskirts of Ilkley, it was built for a Leeds businessman. Its massive Sanmicheli-inspired Classicism has always been recognized as marking a turning point in Lutyen's career....

"...Heathcote is built of coarse yellowish local stone from Guiseley with grey stone dressings from the Morley quarries and red pantiles. Lutyens said of it: 'My house does stand there plumb. I don't think it could be built anywhere else.' This shows how fruitfully Lutyens was able to incorporate into the classical tradition the characteristically Arts and Crafts preoccupation with the use of local materials. The plan is dramatic and picturesque, forcing the visitor to move circuitously through a planned sequence of spatial contrasts and surprises. The stepped gardens continue the massive geometry of the house.

"Lutyen's love of paradox is indulged at Heathcote—he plays with the Doric pilaster sunken into a rusticated wall. This 'disappearing pilaster' appears frequently in later work. It flirts with two sorts of architectural relief—the pilaster and the rustic—operating in the same vertical plane. The sources are Vignola at Caprarola and Wren's late additions to the Greenwich river front. A.S.G. Butler saw Heathcote as 'really sculpture—like Michelangelo's carving of stone.' "

—Lutyens: The Work of the English Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944). from p108-109.

The Creator's Words

"...This house was for a very rich man who could not spend money: until he met me! in an ultra suburban locality"..."To get domination I had to get a scale greater than the height of my rooms allowed, so unconsciously the San Michele invention repeated itself. That time-worn Doric order — a lovely thing — I had the cheek to adopt."

"In architecture, Palladio is the game. It is so big—few appreciate it now and it requires considerable training to value and realize it. The way Wren handled it was marvelous. Shaw has the gift. To the average man it is dry bones but under the mind of Wren it glows and the stiff materials become as plastic clay. I feel sure if Ruskin had seen that point of view he would have raved as beautifully as he raved for the Gothic, and I think he did have some insight before he died: his gentle later writings were much more gentle towards the Italian Renaissance. It is a game that never deceives, dodges never disguises. It means hard thought all through—if it laboured it fails. There is no fluke that helps it—the very what one might call the machinery of it makes it impossible except in the hands of a Jones or a Wren. So it is a big game, a high game, a game that Stevens played well as an artist should—tho' he never touched Wren."

— Sir Edwin Lutyens. from p108.

Sources on Heathcote

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. ISBN 0-442-21668-8. LC 84-3543. NA2750.C55 1984. drawings and diagrams, p76-77.   Updated edition available at

Edward R. Ford. The Details of Modern Architecture. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1990. ISBN 0-262-06121-X. LC 89-31772. NA2840.F67 1989. exterior photograph, construction section, p108-109. drawing of wall section at end of pavillion detail, p108.   Highly recommended for serious observers, and available at

Lutyens: The Work of the English Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. London: Arts Council of Great Britain, 1981. ISBN 0-7287-0304-1. NA997.L8A4 1981. discussion p108-109.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Heathcote


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Links on Heathcote

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