This is a small, contemporary mews house in Regent’s Park, nested amidst Grade I and II listed buildings by Nash. The house, equipped throughout with the latest intelligent home technology concealed within walls and fittings, consists on the ground floor of garage, guest bedroom, bathroom, entry hall and cloak room, with kitchen, dining and living space on the first floor and master bedroom, bath and steam room on a gallery above.
The brief posed the challenge of persuading the authorities involved – the Crown Estate and Westminster Council – that a modern contextual design could have its place, even within Regent’s Park. This was an exercise to see how a building could be designed on a very confined site within such a sensitive and historic part of town, yet have ample light, feel much larger than it in fact is and yet continue to create the sense of a private residence. To some extent the brief was not just original but also paradoxical. Large windows were formed in the brick walls and roof lights were added everywhere to bring in as much light as possible.
Yet most of the windows were designed to have shutters over them, made of vertical slats with gaps in between, so that they could be closed permanently. In this way light pervades the house, scattered into separate, even rays, yet the interior still does not feel too open to the mews and allows life inside to go on without concern for the world outside.
Inside, the intention was for the spaces to flow together in an interconnected fashion through the use of galleries and glass walls over the three levels. The visual connection between living and sleeping accommodation achieves the maximum use of the space so that the small area feels spacious and inviting.
Despite the use of light the internal treatment creates the sense that the house is carved out of a monolithic dark gray material. Although the volcanic stone, textured leather and lacquered timber are all nearly the same color, acting together with the steel and glass they create an atmospheric sense of place.
Architect: Belsize Architects
Location: Regent’s Park, London, Uk
Contract value: £ 380,000