It's easy to miss the Whole House, whose unassuming exterior blends in perfectly with its well-bricked surroundings in south London. But the house's interior is a different story. Thanks to some clever planning by Hayhurst and Co., this charming 92 m2 abode “achieves the near-impossible” and makes the most of its restrained location — a neglected domestic garage site bounded by the back gardens of neighboring terraced houses — all while meeting building regulations. The project was recently longlisted for the 2017 RIBA House of the Year Award.
“Whole House is a lesson in complex brief resolution and the use of great design skill to overcome significant physical constraints,” the RIBA House of the Year jury commented in their report.
Made of softly colored brickwork, the home's front elevation contains a large sliding perforated metal sliding gate, with a smaller gate that provides access to a hidden bin and bike storage. The home's circulation and day-lighting strategies focused on creating a long, light-filled, and picturesque promenade that wraps around a tiny central courtyard.
Although there are no external windows, the home is filled with natural light and endless views across and through the house, as well as the sky, neighboring roofs, and treetops. As the stairs wraps from bottom to top, their scales vary to “reflect the level of implied privacy and openness”, the architects describe.
“In each of the separate rooms, the clever and innovative design continues everywhere: the combined kitchen and living room is full of interest and space saving detail; the bedrooms are flexible but comfortable and the bathrooms are carefully considered,” the jury commented. For all its meticulous details, the Whole House was built on a modest budget.
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