Here we are for another of our Top 10 instalments and we are really excited by this one!
It's not a secret that capital cities can offer us some of the most amazing, breathtaking and innovative architecture out there, especially when space is at a premium and increasingly imaginative solutions are required. With this in mind, we are travelling to London to seek out our Top 10 beautiful houses but you may be wondering what our criteria is, so let us tell you!
We look for properties that have shown great sensitivity to existing structures, out of the box design for new ones and are, in general, something that you wouldn't see every day. We know that everybody's tastes are different but we aim to show you houses that will inspire and amaze you, regardless of if you would want to live in them yourself.
London's calling, so let's take a look at what it has to offer!
Take a busy city where land is at a premium and give a creative design team an outdated and defunct bungalow to work with and what do you get? In this case, a stunning, well proportioned and surprisng home!
The Cedar House is the result of a comprehensive conversion and extension of a dated 1960s bungalow in Balham and what the client has received at the end of the process is simply incredible. With four bedrooms, this is a family home that accommodates all needs, despite being slap bang in the centre of London. The name comes from the material used on the upper level, which is Western Red Cedar that will slowly age and mature as the house does. Fabulous and so interesting, we would love to walk around a busy street corner and suddenly see this pop up in front of us!
Though it doesn't have a name, don't imagine that this West London mansion is any less impressive! At first glance it seems original but therein lies the clever architecture and design that has fooled so many. Modern windows and doors have ensured economic energy consumption, while the interior has been transformed into an alter of modernity that we should all worship at. With extensive glazing, clean lines and a sympathetic nod to heritage all working together, we think this house is impressive for far more reasons that just its size!
The Haringey Brick House has been short-listed for the 2015 RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) London regional awards for architecture and there can be little confusion as to why!
A stunningly beautiful and unique home, it is the result of a total overhaul of a dilapidated former garage plot but it must have taken some incredible vision to be able to picture it! Found at the end of a row of traditional Victorian terrace houses, which the design team say
set up a strong rhythm of horizontal lines, vertical window proportions and brick bonding, the Haringey Brick House seeks to add its own beat to the street but in a humble and softly tapped out way. We love the warmth of the materials used and think that this is a great example of how contemporary and traditional can live side-by-side, in harmony.
Here's a house we bet you didn't think you'd find anywhere in London! Mostly hidden from the outside world, this 700sqm home is a lavish and secretive build. Almost totally hidden from the street, it is only when you come round to the rear garden that things start to get interesting! Here you will find enormous swathes of glazing that reach out into the garden and create something not only gargantuan in size, but also attitude.
Created through careful integration of new buildings and existing adjoining houses, the sheer scale of the property is amplified by using height to its fullest advantage. Where long and low is the order of the day, the footprint is enormous and where height can be used, the sky seems to be the only limit.
The house has, unsurprisingly, won a number of awards and accolades, including a RIBA Award in 2008 and was a World Architecture News House of the Year international finalist.
Now for something a little more traditional, but no less impressive or perfectly finished! This home is the product of a stunning redevelopment of a traditional Victorian villa. From the front, everything has been maintained, repaired and kept to a glorious standard, but it is at the back that things start to get a little more unusual.
Featuring a modest extension, the property has been given an open plan living space that seeks to draw on the heritage of the home, not be at odds with it and we just love that unless you know it is there, you would have absolutely no idea. Filled with exposed brickwork and fun antique décor, the new space has as much character and personality as the original structure, helping the two to come together.
Bolingbroke Grove is a fantastic six-bedroom end terrace house, thought to have been built around 1880. Quartet Architecture were given a brief to perform a total remodel and refurbishment, alongside undertaking an impressive basement dig-out to install a two-storey glass extension. There can be no mistaking why we included this impressive house in our list!
Keeping the original façade of the home intact, passers by will have no idea what lies at the rear, which is an almost luminescent, open plan, glass-fronted extension that seamlessly blends old and new styles together, with mutual respect. Incredible!
Though plots of land are at an all time premium in London, clever architecture will always be able to make the most of whatever clients can get their hands on and never has this been more apparent than with the Courtyard House. A single-storey property, built on a constrained brown-field sloping site, it has been kept low to prevent overlooking neighbouring homes and offers a wonderfully private central decking area. The only thing more uncommon than decent sized plots at a reasonable price in London, is finding one with some much needed outdoor space!
Opaque glass windows have been fitted on the street-facing side to maximise privacy and we love the 'blink and you'll miss it' feel that this house has. It's always the unusual properties that really spark our interest!
Originally a 1900s property that was used as a nursing home, this large house has been renovated and transformed into three separate family homes. We are most intrigued and impressed by house number two.
A major basement extension has been added to house two, with the sole intention of adding wet leisure, gym and media facilities, all underneath the garden. While the house itself is undeniably impressive, we think the subtle and well mannered nature of the basement extension has been carried out in such a way as to be mindful of the original property, while adding a touch of barely there glamour. Rather than detracting from the impressive original frontage, the well lit subterranean addition almost showcases it more. Impressive!
Wow! This incredible house can be found close to Wimbledon Village and the world famous tennis club and has been created to house a family with a myriad of needs. A lightweight timber-clad first floor combines with the structural-looking rendered element to create a long and lean façade, while extensive glazing, both at the front and back, lets in light and makes the house reach out into the well manicured gardens.
Though wood and white render have become popular building companions in recent years, we think this really is a premier example of how great they look together and to find such a large property in London is quite mind blowing!
Originally a Victorian brick works, this building was left in the capable hands of an incredible design team that fully understood the brief to create a luxurious family home that would seamlessly blend crisp modernity with heritage industrial styles.
Including a roof terrace, breathtaking windows and an open plan interior scheme, the end result of the project is nothing short of spectacular and very much at home in the Notting Hill area of London. A cacophony of white, bronze and red brick, the interior really is a reflection of the beauty of the exterior and we know we couldn't pass by without at least taking a picture, for our own inspiration!
For more Top 10 fun take a look at the is Ideabook: Top 10—The Most Beautiful Houses In The South.