A brick wall almost entirely conceals this tiny courtyard house that London architect Jack Woolley has finished on a former garden internet site in south London .
The single-storey building was made to have a minimal influence on the surrounding properties, so it is largely hidden behind the brick boundary wall that kinds its street-dealing with elevation. It also features a spiralling program, hence the name Spiral Residence.
The Balham web site was originally the garden of a neighbouring building. Jack Woolley and his wife Polly bought the site at auction with the aim to turn it into a residence for themselves.
Drawing on his experiences with Outdated Workshop – a house and workplace hidden behind a brick wall with a mysterious door – the architect made the house to be inward-facing and barely noticeable.
“It was simply because of my encounter with Previous Workshop that we could see the prospective of the web site,” Woolley told Dezeen. “Like that undertaking, the extended see from the street is essential for the neighbourhood, and the lower profile of the building preserves it.”
The spiralling prepare was created by continuing the brick boundary wall into the centre of the website. It frames an nearly rectangular building with an area of 90 square metres, whilst the leftover area supplies a private courtyard.
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The house is slightly sunken below ground, so the courtyard gently steps up to mediate among floor and street level.
Woolley sourced Roman-fashion bricks – longer and flatter than normal bricks – from Belgium to create the walls. The aim was for the building to seem related to, but also unique from its neighbours.
“I chose these bricks simply because the colour matches neighbouring buildings, but the various form aids mark the creating out as subtly diverse,” Woolley explained.
“The combination of red brick and white is taken from the neighbourhood as well – the developing instantly to the left is white with red brick particulars the developing to the correct is red brick with white particulars,” he added. “The street elevation of Spiral House is created from these two finishes, alternating in a way that is meant to generate a rhythmic link.”
A window wall completes the house’s courtyard facade. Behind it, a huge residing and dining space is divided by a central kitchen worktop. A skylight stretches across the whole space, measuring 11 metres in length.
The area at the other end of the home functions as bedrooms. A versatile partition in the centre means it can be subdivided if required, or opened to develop 1 large space.
A concrete floor unites indoor and outdoor spaces. It also enables the building to have passive heating and cooling, as both the floors and the walls shop heat and release it slowly across the day.
The architect covered the roof with plants, with the intention to generate a view from neighbouring windows similar to when the internet site was a backyard.
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Woolley said the biggest challenge of the project was obtaining rid of an infestation of Japanese knotweed from the site prior to work could begin. “It made the excavation difficult, but had the advantage of creating the site unappealing to developers and hence reasonably priced,” he stated.
Exploded axonometric diagram Floor plan Dezeen