Erection of a contemporary 2 storey house on a tiny plot of land
Building a New Contemporary House
Our starting point for this project was an odd chunk of land wedged in behind an inner-London high street but opening out onto a much quieter road. It was being used as an unloading area for one of the shops on the high street. Our clients were interested in the idea of building a contemporary house on this unpromising site.
On the one hand, London needs all the new homes it can get. That’s particularly true for sites very near a train station and an easy walk from the London Overground and the Docklands Light Railway. This one is also well served by buses. On the other, there was no way that you could fit a conventionally shaped house on the difficult urban plot, so we’d have to do some smart thinking about how to arrange for three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a garden in such a tight space.
New Build House
New Dwelling House
We tend to refer to houses by the number of storeys or floors they have. Think of a kid building a house for a school project by taping tissue boxes together – is your home one, two or three tissue boxes high? And even though we know that houses can go both outwards and upwards, it’s easy to assume that the main part of the house should always be the one that goes upwards.
But there is no reason why that should always be the case. What we’ve got here, instead, is a contemporary building that on the ground floor fills the whole of the plot apart from a garden courtyard. In that part of the house, there are two bedrooms, a bathroom, a study and a kitchen-dining-living room. Then, above the wall along the street, it has a first floor consisting of a short vertical that then tilts into a pitched roof. There’s a high dormer on each side. Inside, there’s space for the third bedroom and an en-suite bathroom. It’s a highly efficient use of a tight site.
Balancing out the sense of hyper-urbanness, the ground floor has a green roof, as does the half of the pitched roof facing the inside of the plot.
All architects will tell you that a key part of their job is to design a building that responds to the unique characteristics of the site and surroundings – but often that idea isn’t put to the test. This is what that looks like in practice.
Urbanist Architecture is a London-based RIBA chartered architecture and planning practice with offices in Greenwich and Belgravia. We are on a mission to unlock the hidden potential of your site and deliver you a successful transformational change.