Boldly discrete

Peter Jennings
Wednesday 02 Mar 2011

Piercy Conner secures planning consent for contemporary weathering steel house at Kew

Piercy Conner Architects has been granted planning permission for a new-build family home in the Kew Green Conservation Area in Richmond-Upon-Thames. A rare contemporary addition within this traditional neighbourhood, the new house is created by carefully inserting a crisp weathered steel volume into a 19th century brick shell in the shadow of Kew Gardens.

The 4 bedroom family home draws on the adjacent Royal Botanic Gardens and original vernacular buildings for guidance. The weathering steel is perforated with an interpretation of the leaf pattern of a mature tree, creating softly dappled shadows in the spaces below. Externally the stippled steel forms are both contemporary and fitting for the conservation area, softened by the retained brick walls. In this way the lines between traditional and modern, conservative and contemporary, are blurred.  The house is designed to be zero maintenance and carbon neutral.

Stuart Piercy, Director at Piercy Conner comments: “It is very exciting to follow the success of Martello Tower Y with another gentle contemporary insertion into the precious historical townscape of Kew - the strong roofscape forms and textured steel nestle the design into the eclectic street scape of historical buildings - the idea was to interpret the vernacular rather than imposing a new language”.

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