The owners of a property in St Albans, Hertfordshire, approached us to design a new house that would replace the existing home on the site. Following several meetings with the family of five, and a thorough analysis of their living habits, a unique typology emerged.
A deep floor plan flows around a glazed central atrium, which brings in natural light and a connection with the outdoors. To minimise dark corridors and maximise floor area, we stacked all the functional spaces in a rising spiral, each volume suited to the particular use. A single, open staircase wraps around the atrium to access these functional spaces. The gradual, vertical rise eases circulation and connects all the family’s most important activities, offering interesting views along the way. The staircase culminates in an outdoor terrace.
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 design principles and materials of the local context. It’s a fine example of how contemporary design can blend into a traditional setting without compromising on aesthetics.
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