This secluded site, set within an urban Victorian block, is accessed via a passage through a Victorian Terrace house. The building is at garden level, about two meters below the made up street level. Historically the development of this plot came about by spanning a roof between existing adjacent buildings. This was done incrementally and over time and with the help of a delicate steel frame. Whist the existing structure was in a derelict state, we really liked the beautiful well lit space, the delicate structure and the peace and tranquillity of this place. The brief then turned to retaining these qualities in a well-insulated contemporary rebuild and making this space work as a residential home.
Rather than carving up the main space of the building we decided to keep the main 'industrial' space as capacious as possible and to juxtapose the scale of the domestic bed and bathrooms by turning these into an oversize sculpture, a composition of ply wood boxes set within the larger space. To set the scene, we let the visitor enter through a minute door into a dark passage way. On opening the luminescent glazed doors at the end of this corridor you find yourself at the top of a wide set of stairs, with a dramatic view over the large tranquil top lit space and at the far end you see the composition of plywood boxes.
Due to its location in-between other buildings this project can only ever been seen partially, so the internal appearance is of greater significance than the external. The envelope of the new shed is made of an industrial corrugated cladding system echoing the corrugated asbestos façade of its predecessor. We were keen to detail the external façade as a skin where delicate steel framed windows are set just behind the corrugated panels to give the impression of the taught skin.