Perched atop one of London's most famous Victorian cemeteries—Highgate Cemetery— with views towards London's skyline and set over four floors, eldridge london's latest project is both cutting-edge and stylish.
The site's preexisting house—dating from the 1970’s—was Winter House, a house designed by noted British Architect John Winter. Taking on such a responsibility, eldridge london first looked into the the possibility of restoring the previous house's corroding retaining steel structure, or even replacing it. However, such a task would have actually required a complete reconstruction and in the end the decision to build new was so that the clients could benefit the most from such a high potential and unique site.
Surrounded by a wealth of Gothic tombs and buildings—and even where Karl Marx is buried—the four storey House in Highgate Cemetery is imposing as well as it is mysterious. The cemetery, which is now a designated nature reserve, provides the clients with a calming yet unnerving atmosphere. Translucent glass windows wrap almost around all facades of the house, allowing for natural light to filter into all of those dark and unseen spaces.
In the main atrium, the striking hanging fireplace is linked vertically through the heavy loading concrete floors; like both a piece of art and watchful eye, protecting the residents from any astray and wandering unknown spirits. The slow heat responses of the concrete frame, which slows down heat gain in summer and restricts heat loss in winter, was an environmental initiative by the architects to make the house more sustainable and ensure it produces less energy usage than the original.
Large, modern balconies and terraces hover directly over the property's boundary and act as viewing platforms for the clients and their guests to look over towards the cemetery and beyond. The house's high-tech design is a combination of a sturdy modern concrete frame, steel paneling and an abundance of transluscent glass.
The expansive and modern contemporary kitchen fitted out with modern furnishing's and fittings is a welcome addition to the added top floor. A retractable sliding roof-light filters in an abundance of natural light enabling the top floor to literally become an open-air court allowing the expanse of light to filter through and penetrate all floors of the house.
As expected, the bathroom is simple, elegant and contemporary. Each bathroom—situated on every floor of the house—is lined with white corian and white marble flooring. Mirrored cabinets and an opaque glass shower screen enlarge the space making it airy, open and light.
The central stairwell is an engineering delight. Cantilevered pre-cast concrete stair treads protruding from either side of the concrete walls are supported with a stainless steel handrail that is resin bonded to the glass. Two four-metre-high sheets of tough laminated stair fins were so heavy and large that they were craned into position through a open slot created in the roof.
When the air is still and the sun is down, the house becomes alive and shines like a beacon in the night. The predominately all glass exterior illuminates the internal spaces and gives the house life in a somewhat lifeless necropolis.
If you enjoyed this cutting-edge modern home in such a unique setting, then have a look at our other Ideabook: Modern home in a magical setting