Porter sold the Clerkenwell property in 2001, but her association with the house runs deep, with Gough describing it as an eccentric ‘portrait’ of the outspoken TV personality. She and Gough met as students at the Architecture Association (although Porter went on to a career in the media) and shared a passion for the provocative Postmodern style, which flourished through the 1980s and 90s despite splitting opinions on its aesthetic merit.
The Britton Street house rises four storeys, echoing the height and volume of its period Georgian neighbours, built in four shades of brick. Its façade features a diamond frame motif that continues across its angular windows onto the top floor terrace and polygonal roof.
Postmodernism is among the more divisive late 20th-century architectural styles, but it’s undergone reappraisal in recent years, partly because Heritage England has listed several critical examples of the style. This includes James Stirling’s No.1 Poultry – England’s youngest Grade II* listed building – and Sir Terry Farrell’s 1980s Comyn Ching Triangle complex.
From the outside, the Britton Street property looks a bit like a fortress though it’s more subtle inside. The winding staircase, whose exterior wall is inlaid with glass bricks, is faintly reminiscent of a medieval battlement, with the slits fanning like a volley of arrows. Latticed windows have a mock Tudor vibe adding some dramatic shadow play, and on the second level (which serves as the main living space), windows are filled with foilage from the surrounding plane trees.
See inside the five-bedroom London property.