575 Wandsworth Road
575 Wandsworth Road is a modest terraced house in south London originally built in 1819. The unobtrusive exterior of the building is half-hidden by its front garden and gives little idea of the rich and striking decorations to be found inside. The decoration was created by the Kenyan-born poet, novelist and civil servant, Khadambi Asalache (1935-2006), who bought the house in 1981 while working at the Treasury. Over a period of 19 years he embellished every wall, ceiling and door of the house with carefully wrought fretwork which he cut by hand from discarded pine doors and reclaimed floorboards. Asalache identified three distinct cultures which inspired his fretwork: traditional African houses, Moorish architecture in Andalusia and Ottoman architecture. In each case, he assimilated details from their distinct architectural vocabularies and subtly reworked them into his designs.