My visit to the London a couple of weeks ago was poorly timed and I missed the Open House event last weekend. Don’t panic, I can still deliver the goods – I dispatched my colleague Yumiko to bring back news and photos.

Actually that’s not strictly true, I didn’t dispatch anybody, she went of her own free will, as she has been for several years, which is more than I can claim. Yumiko – 1, Rob – 0.

She returned to the office on Monday talking enthusiastically about a house in Hackney that she’d visited, and handed me a little hand drawn booklet with sketches in that had been issued by the architect.

The drawing style looked familiar, and sure enough, it turned out that she’d unwittingly visited the home of one of my ex-tutors, Ed Frith from

London Open House 2005 011

I got to tell her all about Ed and what an inspiration/surprise he’d been to all the year 1 students he’d taught and what a loss it had been when he left Birmingham and jumped ship to Greenwich School of Architecture. Yumiko – 1, Rob – 1.

It looks like his house is finished now, or at least a lot more finished then it was when I last saw some pictures a few years ago. Looking at some of the detailing made me realise how a good teacher can have subtle influences on you without you even realising it. Aesthetic preferences, material sensibilities, detailing seductions. Approach.

Here’s part of the detailing of Ed’s kitchen:

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And here’s some furniture I made a couple of years after Ed left:


Yumiko – 1, Rob – 1, Ed – 1.

Exposed plywood is such a deliciously honest detail.

As usual, there are more photos on my flickr account.