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Issue #20

UPGRADING A BACK-LAND AREA

Roof & Façade

This project in North London was created with the intention of enhancing the housing stock of the location and providing a positive contribution to the texture, grain and building types within the conservation area.
Elevations (entrance and courtyard), Mews House © Russell Jones
© Russell-Jones
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Exterior, Mews House, Russell Jones © Rory Gardiner
© Rory Gardiner

UPGRADING A BACK-LAND AREA

Roof & Façade

This project in North London was created with the intention of enhancing the housing stock of the location and providing a positive contribution to the texture, grain and building types within the conservation area.

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.

Interior, Mews House, Russell Jones © Rory Gardiner
© Rory Gardiner
Elevation, Mews House © Russell Jones
© Russell-Jones

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.

Detail, Mews House, Russell Jones © Rory Gardiner
© Rory Gardiner

The volumes were handled in such a way as to make the most of a small site.

Russell Jones

ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT

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.

Facts
  • Project name
    Mews House, London, United Kingdom
  • Architect
    Russell Jones
  • Client
    Private
  • Used products

    Terca Marziale

  • Year of completion
    2015
Terca Marziale

Façade

Terca Marziale – United Kingdom