This ultra-modern house on stilts is unlike anything we've ever seen before

This modern house on stilts lets in plenty of light while also offering complete privacy from the street and neighbouring properties

modern house on stilts
(Image credit: French+Tye)

The property

This new-build modern house (opens in new tab) on stilts in South East London was built by Gruff (opens in new tab) for their director Rhys and his young family.

Spanning 1,631 square feet, the four-bedroom family home incorporates a lot of clever design ideas that Gruff architecture studio have learned over the years.

Located in a conservation area and bounded on one side by a railway cutting, the site posed many design and logistical challenges. The first floor is clad in black timber boards and is pitched 10 degrees away from the boundaries in order to diminish the perceived mass of the building from the neighbouring gardens.

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

See Also: Before & After – See inside a strikingly modern rear extension in a conservation area (opens in new tab)

The structure

A technically challenging and tight back land site, the plot became known to the practice as the yard of a local builder, with whom Gruff (opens in new tab) had worked on numerous projects previously.

modern house

(Image credit: French+Tye)

With glazing only on the side and rear elevations, and no windows on the front elevation helps to privacy from the rear of the neighbouring houses. The property’s main view is of the tree-lined railway cutting. With no immediate buildings in this direction, this offers the house a panoramic vista of ‘private green space’; a rare commodity in a built-up suburban area of London.

Meanwhile, a contiguous piled concrete basement offers additional living space and a guest bedroom (opens in new tab).

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

Entrance

The property's entrance is tucked away down the side of the structure.

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

Ground floor

Once inside, there's an open-plan kitchen, dining and living space, with views out to the garden.

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

Whimsical, fun and, at times suitably indulgent, the project has brought together collective ideas from the whole office, and was a great opportunity to test and execute a variety of ideas developed throughout the practice’s history.

The property is full of carefully considered details, from the modern banister that creates a safe staircase (opens in new tab) while also keeping a sense of open space, to the smaller details like the light switches, and the door handle on the pocket door under the stairs.

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

Kitchen area

The L-shaped kitchen features a galley-style kitchen (opens in new tab) to the side, and a small kitchen island (opens in new tab) at the centre, complete with breakfast ba (opens in new tab)r – making this a sociable space.

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

modern house

(Image credit: French+Tye)

Although small, every detail was carefully considered. We love the wood carving in the wine glass shelf, and the terrazzo countertops.

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

See Also: Small kitchen layout ideas - clever and compact design
(opens in new tab)

Garden

Through the main living space is a garden, with a semi-circle shape, and a modern border fence.

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

Snug

At ground level there's also a cosy snug, with a corner sofa and TV.

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

A small courtyard acts as a light-well to allow for natural daylight, and creates a more interesting view.

modern house

(Image credit: French+Tye)

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

Bedroom

Upstairs, the sloped walls are highlighted with clever design details like the sloped windows that create interesting vignettes.

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

A half wall of storage divides the bedroom from a spacious walk-in bathroom. The bookcase wall incorporates a horizontal window into the bathroom space, framing the garden view beyond.

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

Bathroom

But the walk-in shower (opens in new tab) remains private, and out of sight from the bedroom. A monochrome colour palette and black bathroom taps (opens in new tab) give this master bathroom (opens in new tab) a thoroughly modern feel.

modern house on stilts

(Image credit: French+Tye)

Design Team Architect: Gruff Architects

Contractor: Marval Developments

Structural Engineer: Built Engineers

See Also: A period house in Hackney has been transformed into a light, modern, broken-plan family home
(opens in new tab)

Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.