Sitting under the shadow of Hampstead Heath, Fleet House is a brick clad, new-build family home in a conservation area in North London. It re-establishes an important corner at the meeting of a historic footpath and a quiet residential street, Admiral’s Walk.
Designed for a Swedish-Japanese couple, the scheme rethinks the modern, domestic concept and subtly integrates design features typical of the two cultures. The house is conceived as a carved volume with elements extruded and extracted creating fluid and sculptural internal spaces.
The four-bedroom family home is spread over three floors and includes large open living spaces, a ceramics studio, a Japanese garden, gym, and storage space. Tactile and natural materials and large glazed openings blend the external and internal spaces, allowing natural light to flood in. The warm colours and textures of the timber finishes create a sense of calm and serenity. The floor plan is arranged with long perspectives and flexible spaces created by sliding doors, folding walls and built in storage.
External materials were chosen based on a careful analysis of the surrounding conservation area. Windows are carved out of the brick and white stucco façade with hidden gutters and sills creating a smooth and modern finish. The first floor is recessed back creating space for a balcony accessed from the master bedroom and providing views over the garden.
Additionally, energy efficiency was a key design consideration from the early stages. Using several energy efficient strategies, the carbon emissions are 40% lower than the Building Regulations maximum and has achieved compliance with the Code of Sustainable Homes Level 4.
The structural work included the demolition of the existing 1950s building and all works associated with the new build family home. Working closely with the architect and building services engineer, Webb Yates Engineers conceived a traditional concrete flat slab construction. In some areas, the concrete soffits are exposed, and services and light fittings are recessed in to the structure.
The well-considered details required careful coordination to deliver a contemporary and architecturally interesting family home embedded in the context of the surrounding area.