London, United Kingdom 2001–2005
RIBA Stirling Prize finalist
This family house stands amongst dense residential streets in a busy part of west London. The constricted plot is shaped like the head of a horse and is surrounded and overlooked by three taller buildings. The house can only be accessed by a carriage way through the façade of an adjacent Victorian terrace.
The paradox of making a new building on a site of almost insuperable difficulty can only be explained by the will of the clients, and their determination to make a new home in this particular part of the city, where conventional sites were taken many years ago.
The accidental but wildly spatial shape of the site has been used to form the living spaces. The interior plan is entirely separate from the typologies of the London townhouse or the inner-city loft, yet it still retains a strong sense of dwelling at the heart of the city. Walking around the interior takes you across broad spaces, to corners with windows overlooking small gardens, and to intimate rooms deep inside.
The exterior form of the house, as generated by this varied arrangement, is incomprehensible from within; the interior form appears unbound and soft, as if an internal force is pressing out the walls and roof against the buildings around it. Like a Baroque chapel in Rome, buried deep within the city’s close pattern of narrow streets, the expansive interior is a place of escape and dreams.
London, United Kingdom
Caruso St John Architects
Adam Caruso, Peter St John
Lorenzo De Chiffre, Tim Collett, James Payne
Price & Myers
Hélène Binet, Ioana Marinescu
RIBA London Building of the Year Award
Finalist, RIBA Stirling Prize
Selected Work, EU Mies van der Rohe Award
Brick Awards Special Award