The demolition of the original extension and its replacement, called for an intervention that can be a part of the original main building without replicating classical vocabulary or gesture. Our intent was to keep a sense of everyday memory, while simultaneously allowing the new intervention to have its own identity. The original extension had no distinct historical or architectural value, and was structurally unsound, but it had a sloping roof profile typical of those found in terrace house back gardens. We chose to incorporate this banality in the new face of the rear garden – in a way preserving it's charm to carry some sense of associated memory to those who know it or those who see it new.
One of the existing walls had been leaning at a displacement of about one brick thick towards an adjacent building. These significant old movements were registered as cracks on the leaning wall, and have now been revealed and retained within the corridor.
The structures of the new envelope have been exposed internally wherever practically possible, so that these surfaces will register the future stories of the house. The hand marks of bare plaster finish is left exposed in the bedrooms, are now recorded on the internal faces of the building’s fabric. The slow patination of bespoke copper and brass fittings shows the passage of time as they change from their original colour. By registering these notions of memories and stories, the clutters of daily life could fully inhabit the space .
Location: London Client: Private Floor area: 110 sqm
Building Design The Architect of the Year 2018 , Refurbishment Architect of the Year Award winner
Nominated for European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award 2017
The wooden roof was constructed to form a conservatory in this north-facing London garden that has strong afternoon light from the west on sunny days. Natural light within the built environment is appreciated and desirable in northern European climates, this being where the conservatory was originally invented.
Traditionally, conservatories tend to have a pitched roof, with glazed panes creating a fall for the rainwater to run off, which reduces watermarks on the glass and maintains good visibility to the sky. However, the traditional roof pitch requires height, which was not an option at the rear of this London semi detached Grade 2 listed house. Our solution was to create a series of higher pitches in short lengths that push rain water rapidly to the longer gentle primary valley fall. Consequently, the overall roof height was kept to a minimum, yet it has a well-drained glass surface with a deeper floor plate below.
The dia-grid geometry of the roof structure was derived simply from the existing site boundary, and helps to segment the Four Seasons glass roof into practical unit sizes. With the deep profiles within the grid, the beams cast palpable shadows of the dia-grid into the space and sometimes onto the beams themselves throughout the year, this emphasises the presence of natural light in this northern European climate.
Once the roof was formed, the dining space below was developed in relation to the garden, which is higher than the conservatory floor level. In order to mediate this topological condition, we inserted an 'empty stage' at table height between the garden and dining room. The primary purpose of the stage is to be 'empty' so that the garden merges into the background within a framed view. For the occupiers, the space below the roof feels as if it is expanding into the garden.
We took full advantageof the natural structural capacity and low thermal conductivity of wood. The entire conservatory, from the roof, to the window and door, was made from the same species of acetylated wood components, which is known for its durability and dimensional stability. From our digitally transferred design models, the wooden beams, posts and window frames were processed to within a millimeter of accuracy with a 5 axis CNC router. This enabled the planned roof falls to be installed correctly and easily on site which also minimised waste and off cuts. All of the cross junctions of the beams were structurally designed with no requirement of glue or any mechanical fixings (although glue was used for the ease of positioning during the assembly process).
Externally the wooden faces are fully exposed and charred to protect against rot and fungus decay and internally they were oiled so that it breaths. Both treatments allow the wood an extended longevity. The empty stage, adorned by a red maple tree, remains devoid of activity except for the occasional play of dappled light on the stone surface by the large European ash tree in the garden.
Architect: Tsuruta Architects
Structural engineer: Webb and Yates
Contractor: JK London Construction Ltd
Digital fabrication: Tomasz Barszcz, Tsuruta Architects
Garden concept: 1moku
Photography and Video: Ståle Eriksen
Video edit: Stephen Connolly
Wooden Roof: Tsuruta Architects
An impressive large staircase in a turn of the 20th century house made the circulation generous, light and airy, but its dominance compromised the entire layout. The challenge was to replace this once favoured staircase whilst enhancing this previous spacious quality.
The perforated timber treads and risers, and balustrade of the new staircase let through light and air, but in a more compact overall configuration and an essence of the airines from the original staircase can still be experienced.
We retained a stair landing sash window, and together with other original windows and new plywood framework created a screen wall for two new bathrooms and utility room. Light continues to flow into the stairwell via this screen wall and new external windows. Engravings of the e-mail dialogues on the framework support the presence of these original windows beyond structurally. By recomposing these old objects, we aim to keep the past tense in a new form, giving it new life rather than just conserving old.
A large, cantilevered balcony anchors the kitchen and dining to the back garden but registers as no more than an ordinary steel railing detail. The new intervention lifts the age of the masonry against gravity and rebalances itself in its own weight.
Floor area: 214 sqm
Building Design The Architect of the Year 2018, Refurbishment Architect of the Year Award winner
Room No Roof is situated on a prominent corner of West London. It is a house extension and refurbishment of a 1950s residential building on Portobello Road that reacts to the surrounding environment, including the local property market. Despite building a new extra floor, for Room No Roof, we sought to challenge these impressions of “going up to a roof attic” by omitting the roof from one of the new rooms situated in the heart of the space, between the two other new private rooms (a bedroom and bathroom). Creating “Space” – does not contribute to the total net lettable area for the property, however it does contribute more to the physical wellbeing of the occupier. The new tree in the centre of this space forms a pair with an existing tree in the square outside, through the dormer opening making a living connection between the rhythms of life outside the house and of the lives of the occupants inside.
The design also brings in a new kitchen extension constructed over the existing ground floor(hair salon) – a sort of urban fisherman’s hut. The hut opens to a balcony overlooking the square with a full height pivot window. This space further connects the living room to the exterior “Porto-bello” (a beautiful harbor) via an internal window. On the weekend, the street market brings the tide of pedestrians and becomes one of the busiest streets in London, but by Monday it recedes as the market closes. With new enlarged windows added to all façades, this tidal change, marking a start and end to every week, is made especially visible from the living and kitchen areas. The first floor has thus been designed as the most active and public space in the house, with a series of vertical paneled walls to conceal the domestic functions of the floor (such as the WC and utility space), so that the emphasis here remains on the outward views and connection with the street
The second floor above the living and dining spaces includes two bedrooms with a shared bathroom. This floor serves as a sort of mediation space between the more active first floor (the house’s common areas) and the third floor with Room No Roof (the most intimate space of the house). With each ascending level the degree of privacy increases. Furthermore, the third floor is symbolically disconnected from the rest of the house at the floating third step of this upper stairwell. Crossing this threshold, the boundary between the occupants on the top floor and below is established while still maintaining a sense of openness and intimacy throughout the home.
Location: London Client: Private Floor area: 140 sqm
Hare To Ke (ハレとけ) is a concept of time and space defined by a Japanese folklorist in the 1930s to describe a traditional view of the world. ‘Hare’ is a word for special days and places used for celebratory events and ‘Ke’ refers to an ordinary everyday life. Events like trade shows, should come under 'Hare' and materials used for these events should also be equivalent to these 'Hare' occasions. However, these days trade shows and exhibitions happen every year, in the same locations, with very similar participants and theystart to feel mundane and could almost fall into 'Ke'.
The client is a manufacturer of construction materials which are normally hidden behind the surface, such as MDF, chipboard and hollow core planks, and are commonly used across building sites, these materials may be defined as 'Ke'. The manufacturer also makes surface products, such as floor finishes, kitchen worktops and decorative surface panels available in thousands of choices, which are normally exhibited at 'Hare' occasions, like exhibitions and trade shows. For this project we challenged the 'Hare' occasion with 'Ke' materials, notto be cynical, but to stimulate and create a contrast in the context and importantly to appreciate how materials defined as 'Ke' support our everyday life. We created a space representing a living environment; living room, dining, kitchen and study/bedroom, all made in materials normally behind the surface, MDF and chipboard, all left exposed. The other surface products such as floor finishes, kitchen worktop and decorative panels are concealed within a digital environment. The visitor will have an understanding of both environments when they wear virtual reality goggles and can enjoy choosing from thousands of surfaces and applying them to the virtual living environment which corresponds to the living environment made of the exposed materials. Our stand is totally demountable and can be reassembled in just one and half days for a show. The 72 individual pieces are light enough to be handled, transported and erected by two people using simple tools.
11,000 trade shows are held each year in Europe and the majority of them last for a duration of from just 3 days and up to one week with each exhibitor disposing of their exhibits after one occasion.
Considering the amount of wastage each year, it is our hope that our 'Ke' approach may be an alternative to the mundane 'Hare' situation of these trade show environments.
After London the stand will travel to Europe for other shows starting in Poland and later to the Netherlands.
Location: London and other European cities
Floor area: 23 sqm
Concept, Design and Fabrication: TSURUTA ARCHITECTS
Virtual Reality: Roel Deden
Site assembly: Alex Goacher
Photograph : Ståle Eriksen
Peckham Toymaker is a narrative based project exhibited at the forecourt of the Richard Hoggart Building at Goldsmiths, University of London as a part of London Festival of Architecture 2017.
The story is based on an urban legend that there was a toymaker who lived in a house beside the old Surrey Canal in Peckham and ran a toy shop on Rye Lane. The shop was so famous and its toys so exquisite that people came from across London to buy their children gifts from there.
The project is multi-layered exploring the past and present and reflects, to some extent, Peckham's changing fortunes and image. The main body of the installation represents these changes through a portrayal over time of the site where the Toymaker allegedly resided. The installation is covered with written interpretations of the Toymaker's story by dozens of different people who have read it or heard of it.
The installation also contains depictions of events from the Toymaker’s life made in scale models featuring locations which actually exist in Peckham but these re-enacted scenes only exist in memory and legend.
The project intends to present a core version of the myth of the PeckhamToymaker whilst at the same time opening the door to alternative narratives which blend truth and fiction, rumour and personal observation. All of these come together to form the basis of place memory.
In a tight slice of urban plot in Covent Graden, the ground floor of a Listed Building had been vacant for a long time. The width of the shop, 2.5 m which widens at the end to 3.1m, with a length of 9.0m, didn’t stop the shop owner to start their first venture in Central London in the time of austerity.
The spine of the space is 8m long, resin based solid continuous counter turns from food displays to host customers in the form of a table top. The counter top contains an integrated ice sink and integrated flower pot with an orange tree at the transition step. White washed plywood fittings lift space within the plaster finished wall contracts the blackness of shelving notice board.
Location: London Client: Private Floor area: 25 sqm Date: 2012
This mixed use development is located in front of Spitalfields Market. Four storeys and an extended basement were created after demolition of an existing three storey terraced house. The new residential unit is comprised of five self-contained units (two studios and three one bedroom flats).
All five units have their own features: one has a garden, another with a terrace, a mezzanine and movable walls. The size of all flats are extremely compact yet functional. In close proximity to the City, all flats are catered for professionals who require convenient and efficient living spaces.
Location: London Client: DSM development Floor area: 406sqm Date: 2010
A shop refurbishment for a well known boutique in Naples. The scope was to extend the shop an area where used to serve as storage.
Keeping a notional resemblance to the original space, we developed an idea for a new storage space which functions also as a display space. We created a full room length display wall which functions on one side as a display and the other as storage which is accessed through drawers.
To meet a tight construction schedule, most items were prefabricated in Germany, while the building shell and the mechanical and electrical services were prepared in Italy.
Location: Naples, Italy Client: Private Floor area 130 m2
Two houses completely refurbished with new build extensions. Two adjacent building owners decided to obtain Planning permission with a uniform design principle aiming to conserve unity among the three buildings by Portobello Road.
The site is situated in a traditional Notting Hill mews with a narrow 6m width street. The glass screen shutter and door of the newly built area controls privacy between the occupants on either side of the mews.
The proposal contains 3 houses with 3 bedrooms each in a suburb of London. Taking advantage of the inclined plane of the site, the main entrance of all three houses are on a raised courtyard level, where all kitchens and dining spaces are located and function as a hub of three houses. The design challenge was to create enough amenity areas and provide sufficient light and privacy to all spaces.
Location: London Client: Private Floor area: 368m2
A design competition held in an area of Japan destroyed by the quake in March 11 2011 for an artist studio and gallery. The extreme weather of 10m snowfall every winter and the site that has been hit by earthquakes twice in the past 10 years, are addressed in the robust building form.
Our proposal equally visually correspond to this remote mountain rice filed landscape of Niigata. Exposure to an overwhelming natural environment makes us feel vulnerable sometime yet also creates a oneness with nature. Intimacy became a key word for our design process and we searched for feelings of safety and closeness to the surroundings, like the sensation of being in a small tent when camping in the wild.
Location: Niigata, Japan Competition Floor area:140 sqm Year: 2011