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Span Developments Limited
was a British
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
property development company formed in the late 1950s by Eric Lyons
Eric Lyons was a British designer and architect. He was famous for the development of forward-looking housing communities in England in the latter part of the 20th century. His partnership in Span Developments lead to the building of over 73 estates.From 1936 to 1937 he worked for Walter Gropius...
and Geoffrey Townsend. They teamed up, as developer and architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...
, with landscape designer Ivor Cunningham. During its most successful period in the sixties, Span built over 2,000 homes in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...
- mainly two and three bedroom single-family home
A single-family detached home, also called a single-detached dwelling or separate house is a free-standing residential building. It is defined in opposition to a multi-family dwelling.- Definitions :...
s and apartment buildings.
The developments combine modernist design with attention to detail and harmony with the suburban environment. Span houses typically have modernist features such as flat roofs, open-plan interiors and large windows. However, this is combined with traditional features including hung tiles and stock brick work. The Span ethos was to build 'homes within a garden' so most developments include large landscape communal gardens to the front of the properties.
Marsham Lodge in Gerrards Cross is the last Span Development to be completed (in 1969). It comprises 25 houses in communal gardens.
The exterior space is a recognised feature and many Span developments are car-free
Car-free can refer to several things:*Pedestrian zones*Car-free movement...
- a radical difference from other post war
After World War II a new era of tensions emerged based on opposing ideologies, mutual distrust between nations, and a nuclear arms race. This emerged into an environment dominated by a international balance of power that had changed significantly from the status quo before the war...