Due for completion 2014
Vauxhall is being transformed with glossy skyscrapers and expensive flats for foreign investors but long term residents such as the client for this house are also aiming to improve the urban environment at the other end of the scale. A mini “flat iron building” on the junction of two small streets this new build house forms a full stop to an eclectic terrace of former shops which includes the well known house for Nicaragua. By pulling the building away from the road and persuading the council to trade an area of footpath for permission to overhang the street the cantilevered bays or Mashrabiya are crucial to the viability of rebuilding this derelict property. They allow occupants to survey the street whilst retaining privacy, the principal challenge where the living spaces are right on the public highway. Sliding lattice screens line the inside of the bays and stall risers with mirrors allow light to the lower level of the double height living space whilst confusing the view in for the passer-by. On the upper floors the rooms are more generous than would otherwise be achievable on this tight site and the terrace and sun-room provide enviable external space overlooking Spring Gardens and neighboring allotments. The house has a civic context, which will become more apparent as the area improves and the house though small has a stature which responds to this.