Park and recreation: 31/44 transforms neglected London site into bespoke family home
For space-strapped Londoners, making the most of unexpected and neglected sites often seems to be the only route to a bespoke family home; and the capital’s architects know this well. Emerging architecture practice 31/44’s latest residential project, Park House, is a case in point.
The house is a ground up new build structure, created in a trapezoid shaped brownfield site, formerly occupied by garages, and backing onto the River Quaggy in the London Borough of Lewisham. The architects took on the challenge to redesign the disused space into a warm family home; and so they did, using modern, rectilinear brick volumes, while taking full advantage of the location’s verdant woodland location. Frameless Velfac windows underline the structure’s light, minimalist character.
An elegant composition of volumes and voids ensure the interior gets plenty of natural light. A dramatic double height entrance lobby leads to an array of living areas lined in oiled oak timber and grey Mosa ceramic tiles. Upstairs are the house’s bedrooms. A simple material and colour palette makes for a bright, homely, yet sharp and contemporary interior. Large windows allow for plenty of direct visual connections to the leafy outdoors, as well as a gentle shadow play inside.
Park House may have been created as a speculative single residence for a private developer, but it was snapped up by a young family in no time. The new owners admired the practice’s work ever since they had the chance to visit an earlier project, No 49 Lewisham, during Open House London the year before; so when the chance came up to own a 31/44 design, they jumped at the opportunity.
‘We were fortunate to find this hidden gem, a haven on the edge of the meadow with all the benefits of living in London’, say Park House owners Pia and Jon Fairhurst. ‘We love the lifestyle that Park House gives us with the sense of light and space. Every window gives us another view of our garden, the meadow or the sky. Every detail of the layout and storage has been carefully considered and beautifully crafted.’