Radical ESSEX




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Cressing Road

This experimental semi-detached pair of cottages were built 1918-1920, a precursor to Silver End and the first houses to be built in the modernist style. They were designed by WF ‘Pink’ Crittall, grandson of the founder of the distinctive steel-framed Crittall Windows company, with CHB Quennell as supervising architect.

Architecturally they drew on the Tudor Walters Report, which made recommendations for the affordable housing built for the working classes and soldiers after WWI. Francis Crittall, Pink’s father and owner of the Crittall Manufacturing Company, was one of the panel of witnesses for the Walters report, and drew on him for evidence and expertise. These were the original show houses, built to demonstrate use of modular system of concrete block construction, featuring Crittall’s steel-framed windows, with exposed lintels, a flat roof and metal balustrade.

Cressing Road, Braintree, CM7 3PL (View on Map)
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Radical Essex is a project re-examining the county in relation to radicalism in thought, lifestyle, politics and architecture. A programme of events will take place across Essex throughout 2016 and 2017, shedding light on the vibrant, pioneering thinking of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The project will celebrate the crucial role Essex has played in the history of British Modernism and its utopian ideologies under the themes ‘The Modernist County’ and ‘Arcadia for All’.

The Radical Essex site is designed by Fraser Muggeridge studio and Alex Rich, developed by Twelve.

Radical Essex is led by Focal Point Gallery in collaboration with Visit Essex and Firstsite. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England it forms part of the country wide Cultural Destinations programme, a partnership with VisitEngland, supporting arts organisations to work with the tourism sector to deliver projects that maximise the impact culture has on local economies.

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If you are a business or arts organisation interested to be involved in the project or learn more information, please contact us here

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our project partners: