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Heath House

Heath House is a large private home, designed to replace a 1950s 2-storey house on a quiet London road.

The clients have a large family and regularly entertain, so the house has to be able to host large, noisy gatherings, but also work well for the day-to-day rhythm of busy family life.

Its location, despite being in the heart of the city, has the air of a rural site – with the wooded heath beyond, and trees around the perimeter. The owners wanted to open the house up as much as possible to the green views around them, and ensure that every room brings light and glimpses of planting inside.

The house has a long brick projection that reaches towards the road - containing the garage and back-of-house functions – and extends into the garden at the rear with a gym and pool wing. This element bounds the site on one side, creating a sheltered and welcoming entrance courtyard. The main ground floor volume presents a wide glass and timber-clad elevation across the site, containing the entrance and front of the house. To the rear, we have positioned the social living spaces, stretching the width of the building, and opening-out onto the garden.

A statement staircase takes pride of place in the entrance hall. It leads down to a large basement – housing ancillary space, cinema room, and gaming room – up to the family accommodation at first floor, and then on to the roof terrace above.

At first floor level there are four children’s bedrooms and a master suite to the rear of the property, overlooking the garden. A snug, guest suite and treatment room face the front of the house. These rooms look out onto the large specimen tree in the entrance court, which provides interest and some privacy screening.

The first floor volume features a rendered sleeve that wraps around the accommodation, and tapers to a fine edge. This presents a sleek, minimal surface and cleverly hides the depth of the floor and ceiling zones with its optical illusion. The cantilevering upper volume creates sheltered spaces beneath it, provides shading to the large areas of glazing, and articulates the elevation by playing with depth and layering.

The house clearly defines its different functions and zones through our use of materiality and offset geometry, whilst still reading as a harmonious arrangement of volumes set within a green site.

 

  • Ström Architects team −  Magnus Ström,   Emma Ward-Lambert,   James Chapman
  • Location − London, UK
  • Structural Engineer − Eckersley O'Callaghan
  • MEP Engineer − Clark Services Group
  • Cost Consultant − APS Associates & HRP
  • Visualisation − Strive CGI
  • Landscape Designer − McWilliam Studio
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