2 Willow Road is one of three three-storey conjoined concrete houses, built in 1939 at the bottom of a hill beside Hampstead Heath. It was designed and lived in by the acclaimed Hungarian architect, Ernö Goldfinger (1902–1987), with his artist wife, Ursula Blackwell (1909–1991), and their three children. It was the first building of Modern architecture that the National Trust acquired.
The works of art in the house are from the couple’s friendships with artists such as Max Ernst, Jean Arp, Man Ray, Eileen Agar, Roland Penrose and his wife, the model and photographer, Lee Miller. Like many Hampstead creative intellectuals during the war years, they supported left-wing causes by holding exhibitions. In 1942, for example, one was held for the ‘Aid to Russia’ Fund of the National Council of Labour at which Goldfinger bought Henry Moore’s ‘Head’ (1938), made of elm and string. The paintings were acquired or lent when, with the aid of his children, the National Heritage Memorial Fund, a number of trusts and foundations, and a public appeal, the house and its furnishings, many designed and made by Goldfinger himself, were acquired in 1994.
2 Willow Road, Hampstead, London, Greater London NW3 1TH England
020 7435 6166
Before making a visit, check opening hours with the venue