Our interventions to a large house in Clapham bring the spirit and sensuality of the wonderful rear garden deep into the house, choreographing a sequence of luxurious sculptural spaces.

The architecture echoes and mirrors the clients’ lifestyle, connecting the spaces of their various passions – cooking with entertaining, reading with writing, gardening with every aspect of everyday life. Our use of the garden as prime architectural generator tries to capture our clients’ brilliant energy and to formulate this essence into built form and lived space, weaving a seamless landscape around the passage of light and the movement of its inhabitants.

The house centres on a living room flowing effortlessly out into the garden (& vice versa) – its rear glazing dissoluble, its roof supporting a second garden above, providing a patio at the feet of the master bedroom. Walls and floors drift from the interior out to the great outdoors, the study, kitchen and living room all straddling that 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. The kitchen counter, like the ceilings and planters, flows out into the garden, offering sink & storage for summer use. The library morphs walls into shelves and focusses a writer's desk towards the garden. Skylights in the living room echo as slots to their walls, illuminating the flanks of kitchen and library.

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 stair is formed from a series of threads (the filigree bars of the balustrade landing), hanging from above and delicately pulled back like a veil at the edge of the floor to allow movement past, gently splaying around the corner to meet and carry the arriving visitor. The timber edges of each tread curl into and up this balustrade wall, snaking upwards to merge into the handrail before trailing downwards once more, merging as handrail and twisting to blend back into the lowest tread. A more mute and white sibling set of lines continue the journey through the spaces of the upper floors.

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32 photos, 1 video and 2 drawings

Building Activity