Kew House By Piercy & Company
Photo: Jack Hobhouse
Set within the Kew Green Conservation Area of south-west London, this four-bedroom family house is formed of two prefabricated weathering steel volumes inserted behind a retained 19th-century stable wall. Approaching the design as a kind of built diagram of the way the family wanted to live, Piercy & Company created an internal landscape of alternative routes, levels, and spaces - many of which are aimed more at children than adults. Manufactured in Hull and assembled on-site, the two shells housing each wing are formed of 4mm-thick weathering steel - a hardworking combination of structure and facade. The rustic weathering steel exterior is maintenance free, essential for the enclosed site, and softened by a patchwork of expressed welds and perforated panels. The simple plan makes the most of the constrained site, reduces the building's mass in the streetscape, and responds to the living patterns of the family. The two rectangular wings each have living spaces on the ground floor and bedrooms above. Connecting the wings is a glass-encased circulation link, allowing light to fill the house and its courtyard. Unusually for a London house, there is a strong connection with the outside environment, which is achieved through the use of roof lights, the glazed link, and openings out into the courtyard. Internally, oak-veneer panelling and Dinesen flooring are the basis of a warm and natural material palette. While the interior has an informal tone, it is rich with incidental spaces, unexpected light, and complex vertical volumes, creating moments of delight for adults and children alike. Piercy & Company utilised prefabrication technologies to achieve economical but complex forms and junctions, allowing the elegant, watertight outer skin to be installed rapidly.
The judges said: 'Clear. Concise. Simple. Inventive' 'A fascinating low budget project producing a fun family house'