UPGRADING A BACK-LAND AREA
Roof & Façade
The two-storey brick house faces a quiet cobbled mews. At the rear of a listed building, it sits amongst a patchwork of rear fenced off gardens, garages, mews houses and ad-hoc rear ad-ons. Originally a decrepit back-land area, the location is now gradually developing into a secluded residential enclave.
EFFECTIVE & SIMPLE
The project was designed and developed with an economy of visual, spatial and structural means. The material palette and the de- sign were kept intentionally simple. The volumes were handled in such a way as to make the most of a small site.
On the ground floor the covered main entrance provides direct access to an open-plan living, kitchen and dining area. This area opens out onto a rear courtyard via floor to ceiling glazing which provides a physical and visual continuation of the space. In the courtyard a small niche area is incorporated into the brickwork wall for residents to place candles or herbs.
CONTRAST AND UNITY
The choice of building material for this small mews house in Highgate was influenced by the original context, and the ongoing development of the mews into a new residential enclave. Discussion with the officials led to a selection of a light coloured brick and mortar for new buildings, as a contrast to the weathered and dirty commons behind and to unify and instil a sense of continuity to the new developments in the mews.
Light-coloured facing bricks were selected for all external and internal structural walls. The quality of the brickwork has been enhanced through the use of a carefully selected mortar, using white cement, lime and washed river sand and a subtle manipulation of the surface.
The volumes were handled in such a way as to make the most of a small site.
The dwelling was constructed with durable materials to provide a long-term sustainable solution. It includes underfloor heating, renewable energy is provided by a photovoltaic array located on the upper roof level, and there is a rainwater harvesting system.
Project nameMews House, London, United Kingdom
Year of completion2015