John Pantlin was a skilled photographer, but today he is relatively unknown. Curator Valeria Carullo looks at one of the images included in a new exhibition about his work…
This ‘house on stilts’ was in fact designed as a caravan in 1952 by architect David Jenkin when his client was refused the licence to build a house on the land he bought at Brentwood. The timber weatherboard construction, designed in collaboration with Ove Arup & Partners, was supported by a steel frame made of Z-section purlins and tripods attached to wheels. The experimental nature of the house, the upward-looking camera angle and the children on the balcony pointing into the distance all combine in this photograph by John Pantlin to convey a sense of optimism in the future and in modern architecture, typical of post-war British architectural culture.
The ‘John Pantlin: photographing the mid-century home‘ exhibition is on display at the Geffrye Museum until the 29 June 2014. Entry is free.
Article by Valeria Carullo
Curator, Robert Elwall Photographs Collection, British Architectural Library, RIBA