The garden within

Friday 16 Dec 2011

The house as organic inhabitable landscape fluidly connecting inside and out

Sensualscaping uses highly articulated interventions to refurbish and extend a large Victorian house in Clapham, London, bringing the spirit and sensuality of the rear garden deep into the house.

It choreographs a sequence of luxurious sculptural spaces that carefully mirror the clients' lifestyle, connecting the spaces of their various passions - cooking with entertaining, reading with writing, gardening with every aspect of everyday life. The rear-walled oasis was the prime generator for a scheme which weaves a sense of the organic and the exterior throughout the building, offering a sense of outdoor nature amidst the creature comforts of home.

The house centres on a living room flowing effortlessly out into the garden (and vice versa) - its rear glazing dissoluble as disappearing sliding doors, its roof supporting a second garden above - a patio at the foot of the master bedroom. Walls and floors drift from the interior out to the great outdoors; study, kitchen and living room all penetrate the delicate rear blade of glass, their pockets expanding to form great hills and planters, the floor curling into a series of steps and an elevated seating area above the sloping lawn.

Ceiling slots carve serpentine rivers of light that slide through all apertures and across the sequence of spaces. Delicate pairs of thin skirting lines flow between the spaces, tracing their edges and framing passages, dramatically expanding into the stair's sinuous web of curvaceous lines, climbing and wrapping throughout the first floor.

The staircase (entirely digitally fabricated) offers a gradual, elegant journey upwards into light, skimming across sensual horizontal treads that curl and blend into a vertical wall composed of a mesh of lines - timber strands that appear to hang like threads from the filigree bars of the landing balustrade above, pulled back like a curtain to let the gaze through.

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