Erskine Hill south end
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In Erskine Hill, sloping down northwards opposite the Free Church transept (there is a fine view of the Free Church dome up the road), Lutyens himself designed only the houses on the west side. These are one of his happiest Classical compositions, illustrating in Georgian terms the method of emphasising the slope of a hillside, by placing the tallest buildings at the lowest end, which he had learnt as a child from the picturesque farmhouses illustrated in Randolph Caldecott's children's books. The dominant white cornice is used first as a string course above the ground floor windows, then (as the ground falls away) as the cill for the first floor windows and finally as the main cornice above the first floor windows - binding the houses together at a single level, and thus emphasising the geometry of the angle at which the ground slopes.

Numbers 1-7 are a particularly attractive composition, the four houses giving the illusion of three (Lutyens wanted to scale up the proportions as much as possible), the central pair being gathered under a steep pavilion roof with a central chimney, with artful recessions on either side. The complexity of this was probably too much for Co-Partnership budgets, as Sutcliffe in numbers 2-8 opposite resorted to a more conventional U-shaped arrangement. Sutcliffe also reduced the scale of the chimneys and altered various details on windows and doors. The lowest house on each side is detached, with a large polygonal bay turning the corner.

Unfortunately Lutyens's houses were rather too expensive and, in the course of his enormous practice, he found it difficult to produce his designs as quickly as Co-partnership Tenants required, particularly as they kept on insisting on amendments to them - and having made so many amendments he was particularly offended at the lack of enthusiasm for their convenience when completed.

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