Arbour House

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Location: Peckham, London

Client: Private

Project Year: 2017

Cost: £0 - £100k

nimtim took an ambitious approach for extending and updating this small and unremarkable house. Taking inspiration from the Case Study Houses of the 1950s, as well as traditional and contemporary Japanese domestic architecture, nimtim proposed an addition formed of a series of lightweight timber portals running both front to back and side to side. The timber structure defines a series of openings along the roof and onto the rear garden. This grid extends through the house and out into the garden; blurring the threshold between inside and out.

Internally materiality was key; materials had to be high quality, with a distinctive, honest timbre - in direct contrast to those of the existing dwelling. The exposed timber portal frames are in Douglas Fir that creates a warm, pink hue, the floor is poured concrete and an exposed wall of specially selected long bricks runs along one edge of the living space extending out into the garden. A restrained, simple palette is maintained with the translucent white plywood kitchen with wooden and marble worktops. Every material quietly affirms itself independently and collectively.

nimtim architects and their sister company nimtim landscapes worked together from the beginning to create a design where the house and garden were completely integrated. A simple and bold garden plan proposed a large paved area of elegant and low cost pavers with a large planted area that mirrored the geometry of the house creating an axis that extends into the stepped plan of the house.

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Rear elevation

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The timber portals are used both inside and out to blur the threshold between the two.

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Cabinet doors are made from translucent white plywood.

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