Day House

A contemporary mews house Highbury / United Kingdom / 2014

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Day House is a new-build cost-effective mews house in one of London’s most sought-after neighbourhoods, Islington.The house is located in a mews tucked away behind one of Islington’s grandest Georgian terraces. 


The new house replaces a 1970s timber infill house, which was built within a terrace of brick party walls. The timber structure was in a bad state of disrepair and the layout gave rise to constrained spaces and an awkward circulation due to poorly located stairs. This led to the decision to build afresh, designing something unique for the house owners, a couple with a strong interest in architecture.


The new 4-storey house is compactly designed to fit within the confines of the original roofline and plot footprint, with a new basement level introducing new floor space. The principal strategy has been to design a new internal configuration, placing the stair front-to-back opposite the property entrance in a compact arrangement to increase ceiling heights and create generously proportioned spaces. The stair is beautifully crafted in oak with seamless joinery and no embellishments.


The original house’s self-supporting brick party walls were in good condition, which meant that the new timber infill could simply be inserted into the terrace, minimizing exposure and disturbance to the neighbouring properties and reducing costs. Inside, the ground floor of the house comprises a street facing studio and kitchen/diner to the rear. The kitchen and garden are designed as one space with a 4m wide frameless 'up and over' window framing a panoramic view of the garden. The main living room is on the first floor at the back of the house above the kitchen; an enormous window frames a view of the trees beyond the back garden, streaming dappled sunlight into the interiors.


The top floor is reserved for the master suite. The shifting floor levels have been cleverly incorporated so that the ensuite sits within the pitch of the roof space, allowing the master suite to flow as one continuous space, whilst revealing the best views from the house. A guest suite is located in the new basement floor.


Externally the house is differentiated from its neighbours by a cladding of zinc, which wraps the whole house like one continuous enveloping roof folded over and down both elevations.


It has a technical purpose, providing maximum wall depth to provide super insulation; it also gives the house a visual simplicity. The standing seams of the zinc cladding set a rhythm across the elevation; windows line up precisely with the seams and have been grouped in sets – and are either set back or project out from the line of the zinc. A green coated zinc was deliberately chosen for its soft subtle hues, allowing the building to sit quietly in the mews.


The house is an exemplar in environmental design. It is designed to Passivhaus principles; it is super insulated, well sealed; it has a whole house heat recovery ventilation system and uses very efficient heating and power systems and fittings; and is designed to lifetime homes principles.

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    Day House is a new-build cost-effective mews house in one of London’s most sought-after neighbourhoods, Islington.The house is located in a mews tucked away behind one of Islington’s grandest Georgian terraces.  The new house replaces a 1970s timber infill house, which was built within a terrace of brick party walls. The timber structure was in a bad state of disrepair and the layout gave rise to constrained spaces and an awkward circulation due to poorly located stairs. This...

    Project details
    • Year 2014
    • Client Private Client
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Single-family residence
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