Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Fitzroy Park House in London, England by Stanton Williams Architects
April 11th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Stanton Williams Architects
Stanton Williams was commissioned by a prominent film director and an interior designer to create a new family home in the conservation area of High gate, north London, replacing a late 1950’s house.
The design strategy takes advantage of the sloping site by creating new additional spaces within the lower garden level, above which a series of interlocking sculptural forms emerge, evoking the spirit of a tree house.
The house is surrounded by rich greenery. Its upper level cantilevers out and floats amongst the tree canopies, with great views to Hampstead Heath and beyond. The position of the new house is set back sensitively from Fitzroy Park with a minimal stone and metal bridge, allowing mature trees to be retained and enhancing its peaceful setting.
The bridge leads into the heart of the house, which opens up dramatically to views over a day-lit double-height volume down to the lower garden level. Large sliding glass doors bring in plenty of daylight and blur the boundary between the inside and outside.
The landscaped garden gently curves around the house. Like the small waterfall created within it, the spacious living room flows into the dining room and kitchen, which in turn rolls back out to the garden. A set of stone stairs leads to a small swimming pool, which resonates with the presence of Hampstead ponds nearby.
Material references for the house reflects the rich natural setting of the site. Cedar fencing and oiled Iroko balconies contrast with the Accoya timber envelope. Painted in dark grey, the timber brings additional texture and colour to the limestone on the exterior façade.
The crisp and sharp protective exterior layers give way to softer warm interior spaces, with an extensive oak ceiling and floor sumptuously laid out in limestone or dark oak. The wash rooms are also clad in limestone. Refined ironmongery on doors and handrails are made in bronze. The emphasis throughout is placed on using the raw materials found in nature.
The house is naturally ventilated and well insulated. New sedum roofs also help to blend the house into the surrounding natural setting. The bedroom timber sliding windows are set back from the balcony edge and shaded to reduce solar gain. The bedrooms also feature separate north facing openable slot windows to enable natural cross ventilation.
Skylights are strategically placed at various points in the house, bringing in more daylight, whilst large sliding doors enable easy access to outdoor areas even at the upper level of the house. These details ensure that the family can engage with nature at every possible opportunity throughout the seasons. Embedded in the unique, rural-like setting, Fitzroy Park House manages to be at once open and protective.
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