575 Wandsworth Road
A unique work of art created in a private home in Lambeth by Khadambi Asalache (1935-2006).
- Guided Tours
- Open to the public
- Events programme
Asalache was a Kenyan-born poet, novelist, philosopher of mathematics and British civil servant. Initially prompted by the need to disguise persistent damp in the basement dining room of 575 Wandsworth Road, Asalache attached recycled pine to the walls, carving elaborate fretwork patterns and motifs. He went on to embellish almost every wall, ceiling and door in the house, adding painted decoration as well as textiles, lustre ware, glass and metalwork. Noting that "there is no symmetry in nature", he sought to achieve "a feeling of lightness and happiness" in the house through visual balance rather than repetitive design.
Asalache began carving in 1986 and declared the house finished in 2005. It was acquired by the National Trust in 2010 and, following essential conservation work, was opened to the public. The house can be visited by pre-booked guided tour. Numbers are restricted due to the small size of the house and the demands of conservation.
© Susie Thomson, photo: David Clarke