What if one has to build a substantially large family house inside the confines of a well known conservation area without bothering the neighbors? Well, according to London-based architecture firm DSDHA, the solution is to ‘go covert’ – as aptly demonstrated by their so-named Covert House. Situated in the middle of the conserved Clapham Old Town, the 135 sq m (1,453 sq ft) residence proudly hides itself from proximate nitpicking with the aid of various architectural techniques. These range from a simple material palette, an array of glass and mirrors to a unique below-ground level elevation facade. All of these design considerations fuse together to render the Covert House with gloriously inconspicuous credentials.
Starting off with the materials used, the architects have seemingly managed to combine the essence of suburban domesticity within a freely planned concrete core structure. This technique visually shields the house from at least 23 adjoining properties. As for the interior finishes, the designers had opted for variant details so as to streamline and accentuate both natural lighting and seamless facades – thus making the dwelling minimalist yet also dynamic in its bearing. In fact, the unadorned nature of the concrete walls on the inside are complemented by the while finish of non-concrete furnishings, which creates a play of interesting hues for the residents.
However, the ‘piece de resistance’ of the Covert House arguably relates to its partially below-ground level. Beyond just hiding away much of the residence, this sectional leveling also plays a crucial role in providing thermal mass (which helps in maintaining interior temperatures). And, adding to this low-impact scope is a series of other sustainable features, including a rainwater harvesting system, a setup of solar panels, and a heat recovery system. In consideration of all these nifty attributes, it is not surprising that the Covert House with its Passivhaus standards, has been shortlisted for an RIBA London Award 2015.
Via: ArchDaily / Images Credit: Christoffer Rudquist and Helene Binet.