Densely populated vities like London are fast running out of residential building space. Given the popularity of the city, this comes as no surprise. So, what does one do when faced with a small space, planning authorities and the issue of obscuring the available light of the neighbouring buildings? You build downwards, of course! This project by Syte Architects is simply remarkable. You won't believe your eyes when you see how light-filled and spacious this partially submerged home is. Tapping into the genius of the architects, the owners are able to enjoy London life from a different perspective, yet still have access to a superbly modern home, outdoor space and clever internal spatial layout. Take a look…
As you can see, the house is no taller than a standard six-foot garden fence. And, as requested, the home does not in any way obscure or effect the light path or view of the neighbouring properties. You wouldn't realise it upon first glance, but the home is actually two storey, and provides wonderful access to natural light and ventilation despite its partially submerged nature.
Whilst seeing the finished product is amazing, it's great to have a sense of what went on behind the scenes, especially given the creative and inventive construction process of this particular property. A method called
zero piling, sometimes referred to as
press-in, was used in the construction of the lower floor, enabling the retaining walls to sit up directly against the edges of the site. This maximise the overall build space, utilising every square inch to ensure the floor plan is as big as it can be.
The glass walkway connects two different volumes of the home together in a seamless and subtle fashion. Minimising closed off partitions and walls meant that the home has access to a huge amount of natural light, something which was very important in the brief. The translucent nature of the home also helps it to blend into the landscape, lessening the impact on the buildings next door.
Given that glass has been used quite a bit throughout the home, the bedroom still feels intimate and private. The white-on-white colour scheme means the room will always feel spacious and airy, and helps to bounce both the artificial and natural light source further into the space. The bedroom doors can be opened into a private outdoor space, developing a relationship for the occupants between outside and inside.
The open plan kitchen and living area is also light-filled and bright! The spatial arrangement of this area is clever, with the kitchen island acting as a unobtrusive border between the two zones. The monochrome colour palette is sleek and elegant, promoting the modern and chic nature of the exterior of the home. After touring through this home, and without knowing the structure of the build, you would never guess that this home is sunk partially below ground level. We applaud the architects for their work—it's truly amazing!
If you would like to see another stellar example of home design in London, click here.