Creativity – Sash House
The client’s brief for this terraced house was to create a light-filled home where they could have ample space to enjoy their artwork and simultaneously create elegant functional spaces for their young family to live in. This slim, tall and very tricky Victorian property in West London presented many design opportunities but also some considerable challenges.
A key strategy was the elimination of half landings and the rationalisation of levels throughout the property to create singular floor plates at each level, with seamless spaces running uninterrupted from the back of the house to the front. To achieve this, a fundamental reworking of this vertical circulation was necessary to link each floor of this tall 5-storey house.
We created a slim folded metal staircase that was pulled back from the elevation internally to form a triple height void with a roof light above. This approach illuminated areas that would typically be deprived of natural light in the deep plan of the house. A series of oak fins act as a screen between the circulation and living areas adding a rich material continuity to all floors. This is further emphasised by a slim metal balustrade that matches the finish of the stair underside.
A glazed extension infills the void between the existing and neighbouring closet wings to maximise the ground floor living space and lower ground floor dining areas.
These spaces are linked by means of a double height void with a large counter balanced glazed sash. When the sash is open, the rear yard becomes part of both the dining and living space making the most efficient use of the available space.
Our proposal is an interpretation of the traditional casement and swing/pivot doors used on the other properties. When closed, this glazed unit reads horizontally and avoids an overemphasis on the vertical despite its height. The end result was a contemporary and minimal glazed extension that, although striking in its visual simplicity, was complex in its creation.