This 2-storey house is square in plan – the design proceeds as a series of overlapping squares in plan and section. The main 2-storey volume sits on top of a full basement level, which extends out under the garden and provides a small courtyard at basement level. A glass floor separates the interior and exterior spaces at ground floor level, providing light into the basement below. A gap of light extends everywhere throughout the site at the underside of the first floor, emphasising the ceiling as an interrupted flat white plane.
As the site will eventually be subsumed in a terrace of mews house the full length of the laneway, the house will not be read as an object in the round. Essentially it only consists of space bounded by an open south-facing screen to the garden world at the rear, and a more private, north-facing elevation to the lane. Within the space, elements are thought of as independent moments, animated by the play of light reflected, or filtered through water to create prismatic refractions.
Built at low cost during the recession, for a family with many pieces of furniture, paintings and other artefacts, the design strategy is to allow an eclectic mix of new and old – many of the materials are salvaged or recycled from other buildings. Even the pre-existing trees ion the site were used in its construction. The flank walls are insulated externally [providing a sound-barrier against future neighbouring house], achieving an energy rating of A2 for the house.