This new home for a London DJ is created within a four storey building in Dulwich, London.
The ground floor is occupied by a shop, fronting onto a main road. The house itself is spread over the first, second and third floors above, with access only from the rear, past a row of dishevelled back-yards.
An oversized galvanized metal staircase is inserted at the rear to create a dramatic entrance for the house. The austere material and unexpected scale of the staircase are used to reverse the relationship between the front and back of the house and to create an exciting contrast with its surroundings. Much of the existing brickwork is left untouched, with only small patches cleaned and painted in areas that come in contact with the body upon entering the house. The desired effect is that of a cool urban space that remains a secret to those not in the know.
Internally, the house is white, clean and minimalist in its details. Key pieces of the existing house, such as fireplaces, windows, and parts of floors are retained to give the house a sense of belonging to the urban fabric which surrounds it.
The interior is organized around a central double-height space, with a music room and DJ deck at the upper level. A double-height window at the rear is positioned over the entrance staircase to give long views over the rooftops of Dulwich from both the upper and lower living spaces and to relocate the key views from front to back, as befits the main entrance of the house.