Garden House

    Research output: Non-textual outputArtefact


    Garden House is a built work in the de Beauvoir Conservation Area in Hackney, north London that comprises a new home, studio and gallery for the artists and costume-makers Whitaker Malem. Constructed on a micro-sized site of only 80m2 in an established back garden setting, the two-storey space engages with emerging typologies of urban infill and the application of green technologies to support high-quality living environments.

    The research asked: What form can contemporary urban infill take in central and suburban London? How does it relate to land-use and prevailing housing supply policies? And, is there a model for micro-scale urban housing that can positively support active lifestyles and enhance biodiversity like a garden does? In a city where 47 percent of land is green space and its perimeter protected by the Green Belt, there is an emerging demand for innovative solutions to the provision of new housing that maintains a garden-like character.

    The research process involved a series of collaborative design workshops over several months, recorded in the form of sketches, diagrams, computerised three dimensional studies and scaled maquettes. The scale and impact of the proposed development on surrounding gardens was one of many aspects considered. Through this process, two key areas of research emerged: the ‘hanging-basket green roof’ and the ‘spatial manipulation of the micro-site’. The research established a unique and innovative roof system for urban greening and contributes an exemplary model of how to create ‘environmental net gain’ on a small domestic-scale site.

    On completion in 2016, the building was a RIBA Regional Award winner, and a finalist for House of the Year. The research has been disseminated through publication, including books, journal articles and a variety of professional press and mainstream media both nationally and internationally, in France, USA, Canada and Australia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationDe Beauvoir Conservation Area, Hackney, North London
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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