A unique construction has begun in the suburbs of South London by Robert Barker, director of Baca Architects, and his partner Jessica Lawrence, also an architect. The project located in Forest Hill, is for their new home and a neighboring house. The project became even more personal as an element became the design for both of their wedding rings. "We became so obsessed with the elevation design that it inspired us to design our own wedding rings," the couple said.
The site already has a number of dilapidated buildings on it which they are redeveloping to create their vision of a smart mews development in which three houses are found. Their search began with an auction site in the area which they disliked, however they stumbled upon another street nearby and a year later the design process began.
Initially Robert and Jessica were designing a new home for themselves, however in order to fund the project they split the one house into three. Robert commented: "Suddenly we needed to think about designing not only our house, but our future neighbours."
As a result their brief was to create a cluster of homes set around a communal space where people like themselves could live and also work at home. In addition each house would have a private outdoor space, however an emphasis was placed on the ability of everyone being able to overspill their parties or open studio exhibitions outwards, and include their neighbours.
All of the houses will be clad with green walls in a geometric pattern creating a unique and striking feature. The greenery is aimed to evoke the feeling of the countryside within the suburban site. The couple explains: "Because all of the houses are essentially single aspect, we wanted to bring a lot of light into the spaces with large areas of glazing but also privacy. We devised green facades as vertical gardens, as one of our friends said - like a 'vertical maze'."