St Mark’s Road Housing, London

Removing the house in favour of a block of flats removes all the subtle zones of occupation. The house has a powerful typology which permeates the suburban nature of London. The street, the pavement, the gatepost, the front garden, the front door and the bay window are all part of the varying degrees of public experience. The back garden, balcony, garden shed etc. make up the private zone.

This project starts with a presumption that London is a city of streets of houses. The scheme appears to consist of 12 large houses. Each house is, in fact, two narrow houses over a flat. The houses have access to the garden at the rear. The appearance of the scheme is derived from the curious spiky Victorian terraces that surround the site and from the desire to include historical and more recent references in the same elevational composition. Streets and houses are seen in perspective. The scheme emphasises those elements that protrude from the façade and form the rhythms and modelling typical of London’s domestic streets. At the corner between the two terraces is a small block of flats with a major bay window.

The plans of the houses are angled to the street to allow the corner to be turned, maintaining privacy between adjacent dwellings. This results in a maximum contrast in scale between the double-fronted street façades and the individual stepped form of the rear elevations.