This film is part of Free

Ultra Modern House

The ultimate in streamlined chic - on a hillside above Amersham.

1931 3 mins Silent


When High and Over House was constructed in Amersham in 1931, it was as if a spaceship had landed in the suburbs. People stared in open-jawed wonder at this gleaming beacon of progress, and hungry news media reported in excited fashion. This Pathe newsreel has the lucky camera crew exploring the perfectly-oiled machine for living, and may tempt viewers to reconsider aspects of their home design.

The Y-shaped house (which according to John Betjeman "scandalised all of Buckinghamshire") was built for a leading academic by pioneers of modern architecture Connell, Ward and Lucas. Widely considered as the first Modernist house in Britain, it remains a landmark in every way. Pathetone Weekly was a cinemagazine owned by British Pathe which thrived on 'the novel, the amusing and the strange'.