Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Palmwood House in London by Undercurrent Architects
April 7th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
Palmwood House is a prototype building for problematic urban sites; a small, triangular infill lot severely constrained by height restrictions, acute boundaries, failed development plans and conservation controls. The design works with a gradation of spaces, views and daylight to achieve an extensive living experience despite its restricted volume.
The building is located in London’s riverside district of Battersea, on a triangular plot at the oblique intersection of two streets. The floor plan is split into three areas on the ground floor: an open living/kitchen/dining, a bedroom, and a walled courtyard. Above is another bedroom and a roof terrace that overlooks the courtyard. Natural light is brought inside via the courtyard and terrace, small openings on the street, and skylights to the ground‐floor bedroom and stair.
The building minimises its sense of containment without compromising the high degree of privacy and introspection that provides respite in tight urban living conditions. It is chamfered and cutback, punctured by vertical light, oblique views and shared vistas, breaking the site confines and absorbing the surroundings.
This house looks for opportunities in the constraints and takes advantage of every square inch of floor space. Beyond working with the site’s limitations to develop a design with a gradation of spaces, views and daylight, the design utilises unique material applications to help the building stand out even when dwarfed by its neighbours as well as sustainable practices (brownfield regeneration, low energy, reused materials, advanced building systems) so the building’s ecological footprint reflects its small physical one.
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