Courtyard Houses

London N12

Over the last two decades the focus of regeneration has been centered on the inner city, with the outer suburbs remaining relatively neglected. Increasingly it has become more widely realised that there are opportunities to increase the density of suburbs, particularly in areas around existing transport connections.

As more and more people find themselves pushed out from the inner boroughs, so development in the suburbs is likely to assume an increasingly important role in meeting London’s housing need. 

The site for this project has the typical suburban character of avenues of semi-detached houses with generous rear gardens with a range of spaces and services, particularly where the streets of semi-detached housing lie behind main roads. The site is  positioned on the boundary between a busy high street and an established suburban residential neighbourhood and currently occupied by a run of garages located at the bottom of an existing rear garden.

Redeveloping such ‘leftover’ plots raises a number of design issues. Privacy needs to be created for both the occupants of the new housing and the existing adjacent properties. But the residents also need to enjoy natural light and appealing outdoor spaces.

The proposal is for two new build houses on a site, that is currently occupied by a run of garages positioned at the bottom of a typical suburban back garden. Each of the houses is arranged around a series of external courtyards. The courtyards provide private amenity space for each dwelling and allow generous levels of natural light into the interiors. Rooflights are also used to provide natural top light into the heart of the plan, allowing the changing qualities of natural light  to become evident through the course of the day.

The architecture is designed to form a series of simple living spaces with a strong sense of connection between interior and exterior living spaces. The intention is that the spaces have character, but are robust enough to allow future residents to put their own stamp on the property.