Glass & Timber Houses

To design two bespoke houses set within an awkward back-lands location, formerly the client’s joinery workshops and bounded on all sides by the mature rear gardens of Victorian terraces was the brief for this challenging project. Further exacerbating this was the narrowness of the site’s access only 2.8m, calling for an unconventional approach to both design and method of construction. An early desire to harness the client’s considerable expertise in the field of joinery fabrication saw the project develop rapidly into an environmentally conscious self build proposal. Southwark planning were initially sceptical, following unsuccessful previous attempts to gain planning approval and a change of use at both at planning and appeal level, it was always going to be an uphill struggle. Our approach was to reconsider the setting, and the appropriateness of the existing use. Making a strong case for the removal of workshops from the heart of this established residential community, and developing a sensitive proposal that would dramatically improve the visual outlook for existing neighbours as well as provide a tranquil planted oasis for future inhabitants. With the site so closely bounded by adjoining properties, overlooking was always going to be of prime concern. The proposed demands of the ground floor spaces namely, uninterrupted open plan living visually linking the external landscaped areas would always contrast wildly with the more cellular, contemplative nature of the bedroom spaces that would reside above. Principally each dwelling has been arranged around an inward looking double height glazed courtyard. At ground floor this fully glazed device affords long views through each house, connecting courtyard with internal living spaces and the private gardens beyond, despite being “negative space

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  • Antonina Ilieva
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    about 4 years ago via OpenBuildings.com
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