Friday 31 Aug 2012


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Site history and Brief The site was once occupied by a plaster moulding workshop and storage yard and designated as industrial land. The workshop was demolished in 2004 planning permission for domestic use was obtained in 2006. Context and Planning Constraints The building plot sits between the gardens of 2 parallel Victorian terrace street abutting 10 adjacent gardens with aspect across the rear gardens of the properties. The street contains a variety of early Victorian terraces and semidetached properties of varying heights and typologies, but with a unified dignity familiar to south London streets. The building is orientated to the north of the site creating a large courtyard to the south through which you pass when approaching the building. A smaller concealed terrace is placed to the north of the plot. The building is orientated 90-degrees to the Victorian dwellings, and fully spanning the plot. The east and west flank walls are thus seen as an extrusion of the original garden walls with the north and south elevations intending to be as light as possible forming a portal across the gardens. The views and light levels are maximised with fully glazed facades to the north and south with expansive views out across the adjoining gardens. The plan is compact, and generated in response to the site constraints. The deep plan is top lit by a central void with clear and unobstructed views of the sky. All of the rooms are linked to this void. An open plan ground floor connects the front courtyard to the rear smaller courtyard. Brick imprints within the courtyards are precise imprints of the windows on elevation as if the apertures were cut out and laid out horizontally. Both courtyards are occupied by thick foliage and ornamental trees to heighten the experiential quality of the site. Brick was the instinctive choice of finish both internally and externally to maintain the materiality and urban scale of the garden surroundings. The exposed brick internally is intended to be read against the context beyond - to extend the surounding landscape into the house. The windows within the north and south facades are edged with brass intended to contrast the brick as precise insertions punctuating the facade. The facade is a simple language of brick and window with subtle details which are revealed through closer inspection. A dark facing brick, with subtle tones of red and pink, polished concrete, brass, steel and oak predominate, whilst flesh coloured tiles in the bathroom emphasise a language particular to that experience, intended to be humorous in the obvious transition from the raw surroundings and materials to polished surfaces.

Duggan Morris Architects

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