RIBA LONDON AWARDS 2019

1A EARL'S COURT SQUARE

by RIBA. Photograph by Annabel Elston. May 2019

1A Earl’s Court Square winner of a Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) London Award 2019. The project is a possible contender for the RIBA House of the Year Award 2019, longlist to be to be announced in June 2019 and the shortlist and winner in November 2019.

 

Set in the Kensington district and located in a conservation area, the site of the single dwelling occupies a small plot between Georgian terraces, previously housing two garages.

Planning constraints limited the development height to one storey above the ground, so the approach taken was to maximise the footprint of the building within the site’s boundaries and introduce a lower ground storey.

From the street, the rendered garden wall of the neighbouring building has been extended and punctured either end by the gateway entrance to the house and discreetly detailed housing for the bins. The clerestory which emerges above and is set back from the garden wall is the only suggestion that there might be a modern insertion behind.

The house plays with plan, volume, light and relationship to the external environment to give a remarkable perception of space. A living, kitchen and dining space occupies the ground floor, whilst two bedrooms and bathrooms are housed at the lower ground floor.

The building’s palette is minimal. In-situ cast concrete structure forms the walls, ceilings, floors and columns. This forms an inherent part of how the building is cooled and warmed. Structural steel elements are introduced to support a fine glazing system. The overall approach allows the materials to tell the story of how they were made (the rough board marked finish to the concrete) or how they weathered during construction (steel to the facade bears the rust marks acquired during the construction sequence). The control of how the materials come together is impressive as is the overall sense of calm and tranquillity imbued by the house.

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