Downlands

Client: Private

The site is situated within a cul-de-sac at the end of a street lined with two storey flats in Petersham, Richmond. New proposals include the demolition of an existing detached dwelling and the construction of a new 4 bedroom detached house.

The proposed building is conceived as simple blocks of accommodation either side of a circulation core. The blocks have been ‘pushed and pulled’ to suit the internal layout and articulate the central entrance, which breaks up the massing of the building. The First floor over sails the ground floor accommodation providing natural shelter to the entrance. Furthermore great care has been taken to pull the building line away from the adjacent properties improving on the current situation.

In plan, accommodation is simply composed around a central entrance/circulation core at the center of the house, this permits views through the property to the garden. At ground floor level the living accommodation and kitchen are located off one side of the core, with a study and guest accommodation on the other. The living room is articulated by a slight change in level, which responds to the change of level front to back and ensures level access to the garden from all rooms.

At first floor, the bedrooms are located off each side of the core with views to the front and the rear. Openings to the north and south elevations have been avoided with the exception of the small obscured window to bathroom to minimise any issues of overlooking.

A basement under part of the proposed footprint provides back up space and storage to allow the plans at ground and first floor to be freed up for the dedicated habitable spaces.

A simple palette of materials has been proposed which respond to the modest materials used locally. The majority of the building will be constructed in a facing brick to complement the adjacent terraced buildings on Petersham Close. The articulation to the front of the building will be further reinforced with traditional standing seam zinc cladding, which will provide a subtle contrast to the masonry boxes. Both materials have been selected for their durable nature and the need for little maintenance to avoid the risk of deterioration over time. Windows and doors will be PPC aluminium.

Care has been taken in assessing the impact of the building on the site and rather than introduce a large volume pitched roof, we have designed a green roof, which has a number of advantages. Firstly, it provides an unobtrusive and natural surface when viewed from above. This is of particular significance when viewed from King Henry’s mound in Richmond Park. Secondly, the green roof will help reduce surface water run off and reduce the loading on the current drainage system. In addition, the green roof will promote biodiversity, providing additional habitats and flora and fauna.

The new fabric is designed to exceed current building regulations and on site renewables will be incorporated to reduce the carbon emissions further. In addition, the use of a green roof, solid floors, masonry walls, windows with deep reveals and high levels of insulation will provide thermal mass to assist in ensuring there will be no need for artificial cooling.