New build house, with 3 external courtyards, designed to catch sunlight, Walthamstow, London

The house occupies a back-land site surrounded by Victorian terraces with a narrow lane connecting it to the street.  The house is mostly single storey with a smaller first floor part containing a third bedroom. It will be constructed of a double skin of fair faced Lignacite blockwork with colour matched mortar. The blockwork is left exposed both internally and externally. An exposed timber framed roof structure sits ontop of this blockwork datum, and is lined internally in birch faced plywood and externally in pre-burned and scrubbed timber. The roof form is pitched in different directions to capture the rising and setting sun.

The palette is simple and robust; fair-faced block, polished concrete floor, timber panelling, stainless steel kitchen and natural anodised windows and doors.  There is no paint or plasterboard. It is a low-energy house with masses of insulation and renewable energy production. There are water saving measures and a sedum roof. 

Planning consent required 50sqm of external space and so on this tight site, the design response was to organise the house around 3 small courtyards.

The plan of the house is conceived as two rectangular blockwork boxes which form both the internal and external spaces. These are separated by thin aluminium framed glazing and level thresholds that allow the spaces to be experienced as a single entity. An articulated timber roof has been designed to bring sunlight into the spaces throughout the day.

The pitched roofs allow clerestory windows which add light, sky views and spatial interest to an otherwise landlocked site. The sun will cast shadows across the floor and walls of the space throughout the day. 

The house is part of a two house development, the other designed by Blee Halligan Architects. 

Image Credits.  Forbes Massie