“Design for a house for Dr Hector Munro, Barkerend Road, Bradford”*

*To see the Arts & Crafts design (1890) by Richard Barry Parker, go to https://www.architecture.com/image-library/RIBApix/image-information/poster/design-for-a-house-for-dr-hector-munro-barkerend-road-bradford/posterid/RIBA20015.html

Pictured: Goddards House and Garden is an Arts and Crafts house in Dringhouses, York, England. It was built in 1927 for Noel and Kathleen Terry of the famed chocolate-manufacturing family Terry’s with the house designed by local architect Walter Brierley (“the Yorkshire Lutyens”) and the garden by George Dillistone.

NB: The village of New Earswick on the outskirts of York is an important early example of a model ‘garden village’ of the 20th century. It was originally designed by Raymond Unwin and Barry Parker for Joseph and Seebohm Rowntree as a new settlement for both workers and managers at their nearby cocoa works on Haxby Road and for others looking for good-quality affordable housing away from the city. Experimental from the outset, Joseph Rowntree’s purpose at New Earswick was to demonstrate that new, well-designed, ‘sanitary’ housing, thoughtfully and attractively laid out in spacious surroundings, could be provided at rents affordable by the average working man while still providing a modest return on the invested capital. The house types and street layouts Parker and Unwin introduced and developed at New Earswick were transposed to the slightly later garden city and suburb of Letchworth and Hampstead respectively. In addition to housing and open spaces, a series of civic, institutional and amenity buildings were also planned, including places of worship, leisure facilities, shops and schools. The most striking of these was the village Institute, designed by Parker which was named the ‘Folk Hall’ and which became the social and cultural focal point of the village in spite of its detached position to the south of the school and shops which were clustered around the village green. (From Historic England report)

(See post of 11 February 2020 for John Astley’s comment on Unwin and Parker.)

From website of Spartacus Educational:

Richard Barry Parker, the eldest son of Robert Parker, a bank manager, and his wife, Frances Booth, was born at Chesterfield, Derbyshire, on 18th November 1867. He was educated at Wesley College in Sheffield before attending South Kensington School of Art in London.

In 1889 Parker was articled to G. Faulkner Armitage, an architect based in Altrincham, Cheshire. He eventually established his own practice in Buxton. One of his first projects was to design three houses for his father, including the family home Moorlands.

In 1893 Parker’s elder sister Ethel Parker married her half-cousin Raymond Unwin. Barry Parker initially disapproved of the marriage as he was an opponent of Unwin’s socialist beliefs. Unwin was a member of the Socialist League, an organisation founded by William Morris, and was closely associated with radicals such as Edward Carpenter, Walter Crane, Eleanor Marx, Ernest Belfort Bax, Edward Aveling, John Bruce Glasier and Ford Madox Ford. Carpenter described Unwin during this period as “a young man of cultured antecedents… healthy, democratic, vegetarian”.

Barry Parker rejected Unwin’s politics but was influenced by his brother-in-law’s ideas on architecture. In 1894 Parker collaborated with Unwin to design a church for the mining community of Barrow Hill. According to Andrew Saint: “Unwin devised the strategy and layout and Parker the aesthetic detail; and such, as a rule, was to be the division of labour in their later working relationship. There followed the formal architectural partnership of Parker and Unwin, run between the brothers-in-law on an easy and amicable basis… Housing was always the focus: initially the internal planning of the middle-class home or artisan’s house, then the grouping of small houses, and finally complete suburban and civic layouts, as Unwin’s mastery of all sides of ‘the housing question’ grew. The partners’ early practice consisted largely of arts and crafts homes for progressive businessmen, furnished with ample living-rooms and inglenooks… such designs alternate with picturesque, communal groups of working-class cottages round an open green, with plans offering bigger living-rooms at the expense of the outmoded front parlour.”

Parker’s biographer, Mervyn Miller, points out: “Parker’s commissions included individual middle-class houses, often complete with fittings and furniture. Unwin brought his engineering and costing skills to the practice, but wished to design working-class housing: Parker assisted with the visualization of this ideal, designing ‘an artisan’s living room’ and a housing quadrangle (unbuilt) for a Bradford site…. The influence of C. F. A. Voysey and M. H. Baillie Scott was evident in Parker’s houses…. These works showed progressive simplification of form, growing confidence of spatial design, and integration of furniture into a total ensemble.”

On 10th June 1899, Ebenezer Howard and his friends established the Garden City Association. The Association organised lectures on “garden cities as a solution of the housing problem” which were addressed “to educational, social, political, co-operative, municipal, religious and temperance societies and institutions”. Members included Raymond Unwin, Edward Grey, William Lever, Edward Cadbury, Ralph Neville, Barry Parker, Thomas Howell Idris and Aneurin Williams…”

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