Argyle Estate: interior view of flat
Argyle Estate: interior view of flat
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Argyle Estate: interior view of flat
SC_PHL_02_0750_55_0018 (Collage 251503)
London Metropolitan Archives: LCC Photograph Library
This photograph of a flat on the Argyle Estate was taken in 1955, just before the estate was completed. At the time, this interior would be seen as strikingly modern.

The fireplace, once the focal point of the living room, stands here in the middle of an open-plan space. With the introduction of central heating, a standard feature of post-war London County Council (LCC) housing, the practical role of the fireplace became less important. Yet, as the writers of the exhibition guide for the Homes and Gardens Pavilion at the 1951 Festival of Britain claimed, the fireplace remained “an altar to household gods”.

The Scandinavian-style furniture is another interesting feature of the room. It was in the 1950s that the British began their love affair with Scandinavian design, and furnishings became more accessible to those on lower incomes than ever before.
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