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A family detached house in South East London
This site was previously a series of garages used for storage. Its boundaries are formed by rear gardens and a public park. The neighbouring houses are used to a quiet inactive neighbour so our proposal had to be sensitive to this with the careful positioning of mass and the location of windows. The proximity of neighbours to the south restricted windows at first floor.
The site is hidden behind a conventional suburban street with the rear boundary to the park defined by a stream. Without the need to respond to street pattern or existing buildings the proposal instead grows up out of the centre of its site – this is also the best response to reduce impact to the neighbours. The constraints that define the architecture are comparatively ‘loose’ – this allows the building to become self referential, relaxed and of the landscape.
The ‘front’ facade, that faces the rear of the existing houses, echoes their informal character. This approach results in a gentle arrangement of distinct volumes which become expressive of the plan within. These volumes are given different internal heights to lend hierarchy to the principal living spaces with voids positioned to allow south light into the centre of the house (partly driven due to the restriction of south facing windows). The ground floor is arranged as four rooms clustered around a cross of circulation. The first floor follows this arrangement with a galleried upper hall.
The house is constructed using a pale grey brick with a gentle modulated texture. This lends the house the stoney/earthy character of the landscape. This distinguishes it from the conventional brick, render and applied half-timber aesthetic of its suburban setting.