The Hon. Godfrey Samuel (1)

The other thing I learned last night was a bit more about the house which Godfrey Samuel of Tecton designed for Fritz Saxl, the Director of the Warburg Institute, and Gertrud Bing, his assistant and, one assumes, lover, although the house consisted of two apartments, separate but identical, one on top of the other. Samuel was a member of the MARS Group and, together with Elisabeth Benjamin, had been involved in work helping German Jewish refugees, which may have been how they met. The house wasn’t built, but he was responsible for the design of the Warburg Institute’s temporary library at Thames House, which Anstey showed bore some resemblances to Tecton’s gorilla house for London zoo. Not long afterwards, in 1937, Samuel and his partner, Valentine Harding, designed Overshot a half-modernist house on the outskirts of Oxford for Ellis Waterhouse’s mother, after the sale of their family house, Shotover, and which Waterhouse himself lived in after retiring from the Barber Institute in Birmingham.