Union Wharf by Nicholas Szczepaniak Architects, located in London, UK | The Hardt
Union Wharf by Nicholas Szczepaniak Architects, located in London, UK. Union Wharf is a mid terrace canal side property built within the footprint of a converted factory building. It is located along the Regents Canal in Islington, London. The aspiration of the project was to transform a dated, under-performing and compromised couple’s dwelling into a contemporary, energy efficient and spatially generous family home. Works consisted of a full refurbishment and remodel of the three-story property including the replacement and extension of an existing rooftop conservatory to transform it from an unusable storeroom into a contemporary habitable space that can be used all year round with an external terrace. The approach throughout the project was to use moderately priced materials, adding value through thoughtful, crafted details and care during execution
The footprint of the existing conservatory was increased to create a flexible space that can either be used as a guest suite, lounge and/ or study. Located along Regents Canal, the new rooftop structure is inspired by canal boats incorporating an enveloping oak and ash interior. As the rooftop expresses so much of the structure, Nicholas Szczepaniak Architects worked closely with Blue Engineering from an early design stage. Timber and steel flitched components create structural legibility adding rhythm and texture whilst enhancing the perception of volume. The layered south elevation maximizes light, views and enhances connectivity with the terrace and sky. It is articulated by 3 bespoke picture frames fabricated from 10mm steel plates that respond to the interior zoning of the space. The frames accommodate full height sliding glass doors as well as glare reducing steel cables strung vertically in tension in front of the glass to diffuse daylight.
The primary living space on the ground floor was reconfigured to resolve the disconnection of the kitchen, lounge and dining area whilst creating an open free flowing space. A sliding glass partition allows a new playroom to be concealed or connected when appropriate to the main living space. Bespoke rotating window shutters fabricated from fluted glass provide privacy from users of the canal towpath whilst maximizing natural light and views.
Inspired by the former industrial use of the building, the material palette incorporates raw and uncovered finishes such as the original concrete soffit, which contains the scars of where walls were located whilst the building was used as a factory. In contrast to this, elements such as the kitchen, fixtures, and fittings are precisely detailed, warm in color and texture to create a unique material palette with a contemporary yet homely atmosphere.
Richmond Avenue House by Lipton Architects located in London, UK | The Hardt
Richmond Avenue House by Lipton Architects located in London, UK. “Our unique process has transformed Richmond Avenue to create a site-specific result that is recognizably original, intelligently resolved, aesthetic, enduring and valuable. The creation of a two-story high glass rear addition playfully connects family life together. A double-height glass extension was designed to sit gracefully, transforming the introvert lower ground space, with its closed in corridors and segregated rooms, to an extrovert space that reaches out and makes connections with the garden and ground floor. A glazed tryptic – a ground floor balcony, an oriel stair seat and an internal study window – overlooks the double height space, creating playful and connected family spaces.” Lipton Architects
Private house by David Chipperfield Architects located in London’s Kensington, off Brompton Road in the Brompton Square Conservation Area. The building’s structure is made of in-situ concrete with an 8.5 in (215mm) brick skin, and precast concrete soffits and sills. The visible concrete has colored red to match the bricks and has an exposed aggregate finish. All exterior door and window frames are generous in size and made of bronze. The main materials inside include travertine floors, oak doors and fittings, and polished plaster walls. Several rooms have been lined with different materials to emphasise their function: a small alcove-like space on the piano nobile is covered with deep red leather panels; the walls of the spa are patterned with vertical obeche wood strips.
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
Skywood House by Graham Phillips, situated in Denham just outside of London, UK | The Hardt
Skywood House by Graham Phillips, situated in Denham just outside of London, UK. The main living space – a double square in plan with a high frame-less glass wall – faces west over the lake. The rectangular form of the glass box is continued by the clerestory windows that run along the tops of the walls that extend towards the lake and the landscape. The bedrooms each have a built-in desk surface and overlook the walled garden. A perimeter of black basalt gravel borders the green lawn. The magnolia tree was preserved in its original position and became central to the garden space. The bedrooms each have a built-in desk surface and overlook the walled garden. A perimeter of black basalt gravel borders the green lawn.The magnolia tree was preserved in its original position and became central to the garden space. The bedrooms have no sliding doors, only frameless glass panels to maximize the view
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
Westbourne Grove (2012) by Russell Jones located in London, United Kingdom | The Hardt
Westbourne Grove (2012) by Russell Jones located in London, United Kingdom. The initial brief for a largely unrefurbished Victorian house on the South Side of London’s Westbourne Grove, centered around establishing a new family home for two adults and their young children. During the course of the project, the family expanded from two children to four. Behind the original façade, the buildings circulation, rear form, and fenestration limited the development of a new section able to generate enough space for a growing family. The resulting project involved the complete demolition of all original accommodation behind the front façade, and substantial excavation to facilitate the new proposal. The original half landing and cross wall configuration was superseded by vertically stacked circulation over six levels, and more generously proportioned and planned spaces. The living and dining area, over two levels, are linked by a double height gallery and motorized door, which opens directly onto a rear courtyard. Family accommodation extends beyond the new lower ground level up to the Westbourne Grove pavement.
Level 1 is dedicated to the Master suite, with the upper levels accommodating the 4 children. The carefully considered simple palette of materials has been chosen to absorb and reflect light and provide continuous surfaces for the client’s substantial art collection. Florentine Pietra Serena limestone is used throughout the living spaces and bathrooms, and grey oiled Oak is the primary floor surface in all bedrooms.
Hurst House (2012) by John Pardey Architects + Ström Architects located in The UK | The Hardt
Hurst House (2012) by John Pardey Architects + Ström Architects located in The UK.The Hurst House is a new build one-off contemporary house located on the edge of the village of Bourne End in Buckinghamshire. The site forms part of a garden of a substantial house located on the edge of Bourne End in Buckinghamshire, directly fronting an area of open fields that form part of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding National Beauty (There are currently 33 AONB designations within England). The clients’ brief was to build a very sustainable and contemporary family home that would have the flexibility to successfully cope with changing family conditions as their children grow up and leave the nest. This lead to a house where they can live in one extended space while family bedrooms can be shut down and left on tick-over.
A masonry rectangular volume on the ground floor contains bedrooms and is slightly sunken into the ground to reduce the height of the building towards the AONB. A lightweight steel and timber volume at the first floor is set perpendicular to the ground floor volume and contains living, kitchen and dining spaces, as well as the master bedroom suite. It rests on top of the ground floor volume and spans across to a masonry wall that defines the southern edge of the house. A rectangular service element underneath the first-floor sleeve – separated by a clear-storey – defines an entrance lobby with vertical circulation to one side as well as a carport to the other. This arrangement of space allows for a self-contained bedroom wing for children (teenagers) that opens up to a south-facing courtyard, whilst the first-floor volume allows living spaces and master bedroom to make the most of the site with its incredible views of the rolling landscape of the AONB to the west.
A linear balcony along the length of the first floor allows the facade to open up, and the recessed floor to ceiling glazed sliding panels to be shaded in the summer. At the southern end of the first-floor volume, the glazing is pulled back to create an outdoor living area which is open to both the east and the west allowing the sun to reach it at different times of the day. The environmental impact of the house was considered from the outset, and we were aiming to get very close to being a zero carbon home.
The building utilises very high levels of insulation. A small highly efficient gas boiler, together with heat recovery ventilation, rainwater recycling, solar water heating, a 10kW wood burner and a 9.9kWp photovoltaic installation, and low energy fittings throughout, ensure the property has an overall near zero CO2 impact rating. (We are yet to carry out the as built environmental performance calculations, to establish the exact CO2 impact of the property.) Since the building was connected to services, it has generated 25% more electricity than has been used.
We employed high-quality natural materials that enhance and harmonizes with the site; local Weston Underwood coursed stone to ground floor walls, and the upper floor element is clad in British Sweet Chestnut, which weathers to a natural silver color and will last for many centuries without further maintenance. To the garden side, panels of pre-weathered zinc, set within the timber sleeve are employed. These materials will all weather naturally and blend harmoniously with the site and surroundings.
John Pardey Architects and Strom Architects worked in collaboration to see this building completed. When Magnus Strom left his job as a Director of JPA in 2010 to set up his own practice, John and Magnus decided that it would be beneficial for the project, if Magnus continued working with the detail and construction side of the project as well as overseeing it on site. This collaboration ensured a continuity of the project and has resulted in a strong design that has been detailed with great care and finished to an extraordinary quality.
Situated in the UK, Jura (2016) by Lewandowski Architects | The Hardt
Situated in the UK, Jura (2016) by Lewandowski Architects. Jura is a fine example of contemporary architecture that breaks the mold in an almost entirely traditional architectural context. The Wentworth Estate, home to the world famous Wentworth Golf Club, was originally conceived in the 1920’s by the renowned builder and developer W.G Tarrant and comprises architecture ranging in style from Arts and Crafts to neo-Georgian. Most newly constructed properties on the Estate, be they privately commissioned or developments, are designed in a traditional pastiche. This is largely due to fear of the unknown and risk of jeopardizing future values. Jura looks to set a precedent on the Estate of how good quality, contemporary architecture can maximize the opportunities of a site in both design approach and planning terms.
The design vision for the house was to create a series of moments capturing vistas both inside and outside, offering a textural and inspiring journey through the building. As you approach the building you are greeted with a natural stone façade, replicating the craftsmanship and grandeur of its more traditional peers on the estate, whilst the crisp clean lines and glimpses of what happens behind begin to reveal its true identity. The sound of falling water and ability to touch and feel the natural stone as you arrive at the entrance encourages and stimulates the experience.
The plan consists of two wings of accommodation that are connected across all three floors via a central link/bridge. This link provides not only a functional and physical connection between spaces but allows the users to always feel connected to one another by sound and sight; this connectivity of the senses can often be missing in larger properties but was key to creating a building that could function as a home. The property offers three floors of living accommodation; two floors above ground and a substantially lower ground floor which is flooded with natural light, measuring approximately 2000 sqm in total. The site offers just over 5 acres of land which is again unique for the location. A large challenge with this project, which has been built to the highest specification, was to design not only the external appearance but also the interior spaces with a very discerning ‘virtual client’ in mind. As such all spaces were consciously designed to appeal to as wide an audience as possible while remaining honest to the contemporary roots of the architecture.
The clean and contemporary lines, enhanced by the natural limestone walls and full height glazing, offer a perfect complement to the soft natural wooded surroundings. The stone walls are accompanied by areas of Iroko cladding, a hardwood that will offer durability and elegance while providing a finish that matures and mellows as the building settles into its new surroundings. High performance and ultra slim profile glass sliding doors are used extensively throughout to maximize natural light and offer panoramic views over the surrounding grounds. The result is an elegant and modern home, carefully conceived and crafted to respond to the site’s individual features and the potential end user.