Best Non-public Project:
Winner: Kew House, London, UK by Piercy&Company
Set within the Kew Green Conservation Area of south west London, this four-bedroom family house is formed of two prefabricated, weathered, steel volumes inserted behind a retained 19th-century stable wall. Kew House is an experimental project, driven by aninterest in a 'kit-of-parts' approach, prefabrication and the self-build possibilities emerging from
digital fabrication. The brief evolved through a series of conversations with the clients, envisaging their children running about the house, summer dinners spilling outside, in tandem with pragmatic concerns such as how to build a 16ft boat in the basement. A list of planning constraints, including limited access from only one side and a site occupying just 370 sq m further shaped the
framework of the project.
Piercy&Company has created an internal landscape of alternative routes, levels and spaces -- many of which are aimed more at children than adults, such as the slide providing rapid access from the first floor to the basement. The unusual build process saw the house develop from a subterranean vault, where an on-site joinery workshop and CNC milling were used to create a bespoke fit-out that could be installed by the client and a small team of architecture graduates on a tight budget. Retaining the existing 19th-century stable wall and splitting the house into twin gabled forms ensured the building was in keeping with local massing. Manufactured in Hull and assembled on site, the two shells housing each wing are formed of 4mmthick Corten steel. The rustic, weathering steel exterior is maintenance free, essential for the enclosed site, and softened by a patchwork of expressed welds and perforated panels.Connecting the wings is a glass-encased circulation link, allowing light to fill the house and courtyard. Using prefabricationtechnologies allowed Piercy&Company to achieve economical but complex forms and junctions, allowing the elegant, water-tight skinto be installed rapidly.
'A bold intervention into a conservation area, which looks well conceived and detailed.' Chris Wilkinson
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