Architect couple David and Sophie built their 2,390 square foot East London home themselves over a four year period – by hand as the main contractor.
When the husband-and-wife team, who head up architecture firm Liddicoat & Goldhill, bought the narrow plot in Hackney in 2012, they had to work with many constraints.
Located within the Victoria Park conservation area on an irregularly shaped site, the home was constrained by local building regulations that forbid new builds to impede neighbours’ access to natural light.
With careful planning and attention to every detail, they squeezed in an asymmetric house that has an intuitive, open-plan interior, despite its unconventional exterior.
The new build won a RIBA London Award and was shortlisted for the prestigious RIBA House of the Year.
The house was given this asymmetric shape due to the site’s proximity to listed buildings, and neighbours’ rights to light. The angled form deftly captures the available sunlight, and creates a light-filled interior.
The resulting structure features a mono-pitched roof made from pigmented zinc that folds down and frames an end wall clad in slender roman brickwork.
The street-level entrance hall leads into a multi-level, "broken plan" ground floor comprising a living space, with steps leading down to the kitchen and dining space and garden beyond. Below ground, there’s a basement den and utility room. Meanwhile, the top two levels hold bedrooms and bathrooms.
The kitchen and raised living area make up the heart of this home, with a dramatic double-height, open-plan space that's flooded with light from the floor-to-ceiling windows.
The open-plan kitchen incorporates a dining area, and is connected to the raised living room – which can be separated with a curtain for privacy when needed.
Named The Makers House—due to the fact that the couple handcrafted most of the house themselves—the four-level home features a rich material palette, and was fabricated using a variety of different processes.
The kitchen has a distinctly industrial look with exposed brick walls, poured concrete floors, steel framed windows and industrial lighting.
Exposed structural steel and timber combine with reclaimed and repurposed materials.
Full-height glass doors and a large pivoting glass panel opens onto a secluded courtyard garden.
Steps leads down from the kitchen to an excavated basement level accommodating a games room, utility room and larder.
Each of these areas retain their own distinct atmosphere, yet remain highly connected to rest of the house.
A west-facing sitting room at ground level looks down over the kitchen and dining area, while also having views outside to the front of the house.
First floor landing
Each architectural element reflects the inventive nature of its makers, from reveal treatments, to exposed joists, unique handrail treatments and the glass steps up to the landing.
Creating their own brief allowed the house to become a canvas for the architects to explore their own ideas of what domestic architecture should be.
There's a guest bedroom, dressing room and a master suite up on the first floor.
North-facing skylights enable daylight to illuminate the bedrooms. The Rhodesian mahogany floors in the bedrooms were reclaimed from Hove Bus Station.
Curtains separate the master bedroom from a dressing area, while a sliding door reveals the en-suite bathroom.
The sliding door is made from cast-iron, and reveals a green tiled bathroom.
There's a light guest bedroom next door, with connecting en-suite bathroom.
On the top floor under the sloping roof there's a multi-purpose room that can be used as a home office, relaxing space or as an extra guest bedroom.