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Jane Drew's work with Fry, Drew & Partners

A look back at a 1962 feature on three projects involving Jane Drew, the British Modernist whose first office had the idea of only empoloying women




Studio at Hertingfordbury, Herts

The studio is an addition to a farmhouse occupied by Mr. Ashley Havinden, the designer. It was designed to provide additional and more suitable space on the ground floor for Mr. Havinden’s work and to add to an existing bedroom a bathroom, a dressing-room for Mr. Havinden and a writing and work-place for Mrs. Havinden, forming together a complete suite. It was decided to make no attempt to continue the style of the existing house, which is an amalgam of early Georgian and Victorian additions, and the new studio establishes its own scale and proportions based in three dimensions on an approximation to the golden section. The section relationship is established on the single steel column that carries the open gallery and the enclosed suite on the first floor. The remaining structure is in timber framing and strutting covered externally with weatherboarding in a colour scheme of white, grey and black. The large plate-glass windows have full-length venetian blinds and curtains. The assistant architect was Derek Preston.


Studio at Rowlant, Sussex

This addition to the Lake House, Rowfant, which is occupied by Mr. Maxwell Fry and Mrs. Fry (Miss Jane Drew), was originally designed to provide garage and oil-fired heating plant on the ground floor with housekeeper’s quarters over. It was later continued on the first floor as a self-contained studio fiat. A fall of several feet from the existing house to the lake-side enabled headroom to be created for a double garage and the studio to be entered up a short flight of steps under cover from the house. The connecting screen contains a store-room and space for dustbins, is the link between the old work and the new, and forms one side of a paved courtyard. The simple construction consists of a light steel framework resting for the most part on the brick walls of the garage and heating chamber, and over-sailing on two sides. The walls are of timber strutting, insulated and covered externally with white-painted weather-boarding. The timber roof is covered with sheet copper. The brick walls of the lower storey are in cheap bricks painted black. The assistant architect was Duncan Horne.


Studio at Longpont-sur-Orge, near Paris

This studio, built for Mr. William Copley, the painter, in the grounds of his house, is completely equipped as a self-contained studio with bathroom, canvas store and a model’s rest-room over. It is built of local stone over an existing vault that was formerly a store for roots. Its curved roof carries a large north-light that descends to cilllevel. The heavy stone walls are in random rubble and the curved roof covered in sheet copper. A cylindrical flue from the heating plant in the vault below is carried up independently of the building at the house end of the studio, while at the other end a very large vertically pivoted door opens on to a small terrace.

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