House, 1993

In the late nineteenth century, Grove Road was a typical row of terraced houses of the kind built throughout the East End of London. Some of the road was destroyed in the Second World War and by the 1950s the area was covered with temporary housing. As new tower blocks were built the prefabs were removed.

By the early 1990s the terrace was no more – the final houses were demolished early 1993. From the interior of the last remaining house, Rachel Whiteread made an extraordinary sculpture.

Whiteread’s cast of a Victorian terraced house in London’s East End was hailed as one of the greatest public sculptures by an English artist in the twentieth century. Completed in autumn of 1993 and demolished in January 1994, House attracted tens of thousands of visitors and generated impassioned debate, in the local streets, the national press and in the House of Commons.

Denatured by transformation, things turn strange here. Fireplaces bulge outwards from the walls of House, doorknobs are rounded hollows. Architraves have become chiselled incisions running around the monument, forms as mysterious as the hieroglyphs on Egyptian tombs.” (The Independent)

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