The proposal is for a new-build 4 bedroom family home behind a row of large Victorian houses in the Muswell Hill Conservation Area, north London. The modern, contemporary, open plan upside down dwelling is informed by the steeply sloping site, receding into the bank to reduce its impact on the neighbouring properties whilst embracing and supporting the old large ash tree.
The house is approached between two existing Victorian houses along a long driveway. The proposed home appears as a small, dark, vertically clad single storey volume with veiled windows. This appearance reduces the visual impact and protects the privacy of the occupants and the surrounding neighbours. Upon entering, the two storey space reveals itself through a descending double height staircase top lit by a dramatic long rooflight giving views to the old large ash tree. This storey houses the bedrooms and the entrance hall.
The lower ground space is articulated as an open space made of concrete planes, resisting the forces of the surrounding bank, retaining the ash tree and supporting the lightweight timber construction above. The open plan kitchen, dining and living room revolve around a large private courtyard, with a study, utility and plant room accessed off the main space. A large glass roof over the kitchen creates a strong yet submissive relationship to the large old ash which rises majestically above. The two main roofs of the building are green roofs, promoting biodiversity and improving the neighbour’s outlook.