Sunday, 14 June 2015

Secret London Part Three

On 11th June 2015 mum and I visited three more Secret London locations.

The Rudolf Steiner House really did feel like a secret location. I was following an obscure map and got lost two or three times on my way there. When I had finally found the right place, mum and I found ourselves in a near deserted, lovely, curvaceous building going up and down the flowing stone, spiral staircase trying to find the discussion group debating what's wrong with the modern world. With the help of the finance manager we did eventually find the room where four older intellectuals were discussing doomsday like scenarios, I think mum and I cramped their style a bit, but they were quite gracious and mum and I remained polite and grateful.

It was an extraordinary place, all about the singular philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, and the house reminded me of Gaudi in Barcelona. After tea in the self service cafe and a browse in the library and bookshop we moved on.

Number 2 Willow Road is a surprising National Trust gem. It was built by the post war industrialist architect Erno Goldfinger, the famous James Bond villain is named after him. I don't think Goldfinger, the architect, was very villainous, after my visit to his house, I ended up rather admiring him.

The house was built in 1939 and the architect was also responsible for post war developments in social housing like Trelick Tower. I live in a post war ex-council house and I could see some elements of 2 Willow Road in my humble abode. It was particularly pleasing to see the tiny kitchen, rather plain living room, early flat pack furniture, built in cupboards, DIY bookshelves and small entrance hall. However the house is still impressive with its capacity to be 'opened up' for cocktail parties, practical balcony and the master bedroom's exquisitly hidden en-suite bathroom.

I was feeling tired by the time we reached the 'Wellcome Cafe'. so it was a case of 'for this relief much thanks.' It was a light filled, busy space and mum and I spent over half an hour enjoying our tea and cake and discussing the plusses and minuses of the Rudolph Steiner and Erno Goldfinger buildings.

After our refreshment we had a look round the Wellcome Museum properly, visitng the Medical Man and Forensics exhibition and the sumptuous library reading room.

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