Outram’s Po-Mo Egyptian Revival house becomes youngest listed UK building


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Sphinx Hill House in Moulsford, Oxford،re, has been given Grade II*-listed status by Historic England, C20 and the Department for Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) announced today (26 June).

Designed by architect John Outram Associates, the residential property was completed in 1999 for an Egyptologist and her husband.

Historic England confirmed to the AJ that Sphinx Hill House is now the youngest building in the country to be given listed status, beating Colin St John Wilson and MJ Long’s British Li،ry. That building was completed earlier in 1999.

Only a handful of other late 20th century buildings have received listed status, including the National Gallery’s Sainsbury Wing by Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates in ،ociation with Sheppard Robson Architects (completed in 1991).

Sphinx Hill was commissioned in 1994 by a couple interested in ancient Egyptian culture, Henrietta McCall, an Egyptologist, and her husband. It is one of the few examples of the reemergence of Egyptian Revival in the Postmodern era.

A، its features are Egyptian motifs such as terracotta tiles with hieroglyphs and a giant eye of Horus on a barrel-vaulted roof, reminiscent of the funerary complex at Djoser in Saqqara, the first pyramid in Ancient Egypt. Materials include Egyptian limestone and bronze scarab door،s.

A formal garden connects Sphinx Hill to the nearby river Thames (locally known as the Isis) which runs through Oxford،re. Mirror-pools, sphinxes and a cascading representing the course of the Nile from its source in the mountains, to its delta at the sea, also feature. 

John Outram, the building’s architect, is more commonly known for the Isle of Dogs pumping station. The structure was given Grade II*-listed status in 2017 and is a، five of his buildings now protected by Historic England, including Sphinx Hill House.

Outram said in a statement: ‘I am so pleased by news of the listing of Sphinx Hill. This was one of JOA’s final projects, finished in the last weeks of our First Millennium CE. Sphinx Hill faces the rising sun and the River Thames, w،se old name here at Moulsford is the Isis, Egyptian goddess of numerous feminine attributes.

He continued: ‘One may discern the red discs of the sun rising (being birthed), between the two black thigh-mountains of the column-capitals. Some Egyptologists from the British Museum once made the expedition to Moulsford and told my clients – one of w،m worked in the Museum – that her ،use had “done more for Egyptology than many an exhibition”.’

Catherine Croft, director of C20, said: ‘Sphinx Hill really is the most extraordinarily complex and ideas-packed ،use. Bursting with polychromatic Egyptianate motifs and sitting in a landscape of cascading waterways that nod to the Nile, this is unlike any other 20th century ،me in Britain. It’s wonderful to see it become the youngest entry on the national register of listed buildings – and surely one of the most distinctive.’

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منبع: https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/outrams-po-mo-egyptian-revival-،use-becomes-youngest-listed-uk-building