Our clients purchased a dilapidated 1930’s house in Dulwich, with the intention of demolishing and starting afresh. Given the full range of what Scenario offers, they saw an opportunity to bring the Team on board to build a new home that accommodates the ever-changing needs of their young family.
The numerous challenges presented by the unique site, along with the demanding brief, called for a beautiful, modern new build house that achieves ambitious sustainability credentials yet respects the traditional local context of the Forest Hill conservation area.
As our unique method of designing around our clients’ personal scenarios collided with the increasingly common challenge of creating a contemporary design that meets ever-tighter planning restrictions, a fresh approach emerged.
We identified specific features of the local context that we could reference in our design, such as sequential red brick gable ends and vertically stacked clay roof tiles. And we found that when these traditional elements were accentuated and celebrated, they were transfigured into contemporary and sustainable features.
The vertically stacked roof tiles created a seamless flow of direction from the roof to the walls. We placed the old reclaimed tiles on the north-facing side that is visible from the conservation area, and the sun-drenched south side was covered by seamlessly integrated solar panels that maximise solar gain and onsite energy generation. By reinventing the traditional red brick gable ends, splitting up and shaping the volumes of the interior spaces, we were able to meet every requirement of the family’s brief all under a single roof surface.
This design proves it is possible to break free from the outdated mindset that architects must compromise between either ‘traditional materials and a contemporary shape’, or a ‘traditional shape with contemporary materials’. Both approaches are invariably lacking, both in ingenuity and comprehensive solutions to the challenges faced.
The final result neither imitates nor ignores the traditional surroundings – it is a state of the art modern and sustainable family home which respects and acknowledges the local context in which it sits.