Not really to my taste, but ...


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Phil Pascoe

occasional purveyor of blunt tools.
UKW Supporter
29 Jan 2012
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Shaft City, Mid Cornish Desert
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news ... -jqq6z86fg
I think you can register to read two articles. Worth it for the video. Quite unbelievable. :D

On a busy road in an unremarkable part of south London, beyond an unkempt front garden and a dull front door, sits Britain’s newest museum.

Passers-by commonly assume that 575 Wandsworth Road is just another home in Lambeth. Only those who book a guided tour see the spectacle of a house in which every wall and ceiling is covered with intricate fretwork, carved over two decades by a civil servant.

Although the National Trust, which inherited the property in 2006, has operated tours since 2012, it only obtained museum status for the house eight weeks ago.
Intricate carvings fashioned by Khadambi Asalache over 20 years cover all the walls and ceilings at the terraced home in south London
Lambeth council has declared the house exempt from its usual rule that housing stock must be used only for residential use.

The fretwork, carved wood commonly associated with Islamic architecture, was executed by Khadambi Asalache, a poet and writer of Kenyan descent who worked for BBC Africa before taking a job at the Treasury. When he moved into the terraced house, he found that a wall shared with the neighbouring launderette was beset with damp.

He covered it up with a wooden carving, beginning a project that consumed his spare time for the next 20 years until his walls were covered in abstract patterns and figures inspired by events in his life such as visits to the ballet.

He would make the carvings from abandoned doors or wooden boxes, which he would cut to the desired width before overlaying a design. The usual method is to drill holes and use a saw to enlarge them to the correct shape.

Elsewhere there are towers of giraffes and patterns inspired by Asalache’s collection of British lustreware porcelain. He died in 2006, having bequeathed his house to the National Trust, without leaving any records of why he chose particular patterns.

The trust hopes to convert the house’s back garden into a public space that can be used for interpretation of the house. A spokeswoman said that it was grateful to the council for guaranteeing that the house could continue as a visitor attraction.

“The council recognised its ‘extraordinary and delicate interior’ which made it an exceptional place, despite council policy that seeks to protect the loss of residential dwellings in the area,” she said.

Laura Hussey, the trust’s manager for the house, told the BBC’s Newsday programme: “I think the house really stands for the power of human endeavour and for what can be created with time and dedication and love.”