The owners of a property in St Albans, Hertfordshire, approached us to design a new house that would replace the existing property. Following several meetings with the family of five, and a thorough analysis of their living habits, a unique typology emerged.
A deep floor plan is arranged around a glazed central atrium, which brings in natural light and a connection with the outdoors. To eliminate traditional circulation in the form of corridors and maximise floor area, we stacked all the functional spaces in a rising spiral, each volume suited to its particular use. A single open staircase wraps around the atrium and connects all the family’s most important activities, giving fresh perspectives over the living spaces. The staircase culminates in an outdoor terrace offering views of the Cathedral.
Throughout the new house, we integrated active and passive sustainability features to reduce operational costs and improve overall efficiency.
The home’s exterior remains sympathetic to the forms and materials of the local context. This allowed planning to be achieved for a contemporary design with modern aesthetics that blends into a more traditional setting.
Photography: Matt Clayton