Court House
North London

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An unused tennis court on a backlands site presented an enticing but challenging opportunity to design a stunning new home.

Set well back from the road, and part of the large L-shaped garden of a handsome detached property, this tennis court had fallen into disrepair and was no longer used.

 

However with vehicle access from the street already in place and a precedent set by a neighbouring plot, we felt there was a clear opportunity for a new dwelling to be placed on this well proportioned piece of land. 

The added complexity of being within a Conservation Area meant that we had a challenging planning application ahead, but combining a pre-app with some very constructive and sensible negotiation with the Local Planning Authority meant that we were able to secure planning permission first time (despite an eye-watering number of objections...)

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The design needed to be sensitive to both the location, which is surrounded by other properties on all sides, and the local Conservation Area.

 

Some early massing studies showed that our customer favoured a 2 storey home with a pitched roof, but following pre-application advice from the council, including comment from their Conservation Officer, the form evolved into a part single storey, part 2 storey design in order to reduce the visual mass of the house.

 

The second storey retained a relatively shallow pitched roof, keeping the overall height subservient to the surrounding properties but allowing for the vernacular feel that our customer wanted.

Stone cladding was selected for the single storey element, creating a solid, plinth like feel. Above it on the second storey a board-on-board timber cladding detail brings expression to the facade using a natural material that will blend in with the surroundings. The pitched roof is clad in a standing seam zinc, whilst the single storey flat roof has a sedum covering to enhance biodiversity on the site and soften its appearance.

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The interior contains 4 generous en-suite bedrooms, including a master with a roof terrace overlooking the garden.

 

A large open plan space on the ground floor is broken up by a partition wall containing a bioethanol fireplace which helps to separate the kitchen diner from the living area whilst keeping them visually connected. The kitchen end opens up on to the external terrace and garden via large sliding windows.

A TV snug is nestled on the northern side of the house alongside a large artist studio space which will benefit from flat northern light.