The Long House, a radical new build 715sqm home, was created for a private family client in St Johns Wood, London.
The house replaces two dwellings and a separating 8m wide strip of land, collectively forming the site, a triangular land parcel to the north side of an historic mews. The surrounding area was primarily developed during the 19th century, with some later interventions and the site is within a mature conservation area making a new build contemporary house a very rare event.
The triangular site forms the north side of the mews, contrasting with the typical rectangular street and plot division of the neighbourhood. The western side of the mews is formed by 2 storey 19th century terraced service buildings, now converted as upmarket dwellings giving the street the appearance of a single sided London mews.
In contrast to the typology of the vicinity’s typical large 4 or 5 storey houses in which rooms are stacked vertically above one another, the Long House is low build and has the luxury of large interconnected horizontal spaces on the main ground level.
The composition of the 49m long building was determined by integration of the new masses with the scale and form of the existing adjoining urban condition. The house drops in scale from 3 storeys adjacent the terraced houses on Hill Road to the east, to a single storey for both the garden wing and the connecting element between the main house, the guest wing and garage block.
The Long House has been conceived as a secret dwelling appearing introverted and screened from the street and the outside world. Internally it comprises living and dining spaces, a toplit subterranean lap pool and steam room, 4 main bedrooms, a guest and maid’s wing and garaging for 2 cars.
Externally, the flank to the mews is formed by the rebuilt pre-existing garden boundary wall of English bond stock brickwork, surmounted by a clerestory glazed strip and zinc vault forming the garden wing. The smaller upper portions of the house are formed of simple blank façades one in white render and one in stock brick, which have been deployed along the top of the wall echoing the volumes of the earlier buildings. To the garden side the elevations open outward in a freer and more transparent way, beginning to dissolve the relationship between inside and out.
External materials are stock brickwork, render and zinc whilst the third storey aedicule is in green pre-patinated copper. Internal materials are floors in oiled oak and pietra laro limestone, the stone extending outwards to form the exterior garden terrace surfaces.