Here comes the sun...

Tuesday 27 Nov 2012

Approach to conservation area architecture throws up a light-hearted solution

disPLAY's proposal saw the demolition of a chalet style bungalow at the intersection of two residential streets and the construction of a contemporary family dwelling within a London conservation area. At the heart of the project lay a design led by site and planning constraints as well as opportunities: from orientation and pedestrian circulation; to surrounding buildings and views.

Rather than forcing a preconceived notion of 'what conservation architecture should be' into an unforgiving location; it was important to consider not only what the site offered, but what environmental conditions were required for each zone contained within the client's design brief to function optimally; from the study to living room; from bedroom to kitchen.

A 9m tall Cartesian grid enabled the recording of the annual sunlight levels at points throughout the site. The required conditions were matched to the available environment producing the most efficient arrangement, narrating form and use, enabling sunlight to follow occupation throughout the day. The series of stacked programmatic volumes provide privacy around a curved central wall positioned to bounce sunlight into the heart of the building. A series of corner cantilevers create a dialogue with the roads, as the stepped front facade draws your attention round the corner and the entire scheme is unveiled.

The final outcome is proportionate to the street scene in both mass and scale and public elevations have been carefully punctuated and clad, so as not to appear overbearing. Facilitating our volumetric arrangement and environmental credentials, Structural Insulated Panels were introduced as the core building blocks to which internal and external finishes were clad. The design's form and construction techniques, including active systems such as geothermal heating and rainwater harvesting, reflect not only context but reduced energy consumption in terms of materiality and more importantly, use.

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United Kingdom

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