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Light and bright family home

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This two-storey, contemporary addition was added to an existing, double-fronted, free-standing Victorian house

The serene pool sits alongside a sheltered outdoor area


Architect: Bryant Alsop
Photographer: Jack Lovel

About the project

The south facing Oak House, achieved the goals of its owners to become a light and bright family home. A two-storey, contemporary addition was added to an existing, double-fronted, free-standing Victorian house. Given the site’s southern orientation, a C-shaped plan was developed to maximise sun and natural light. The ground floor has been shaped around a central courtyard containing outdoor living and pool and spa.

This arrangement also allowed the house to be functionally zoned - the central courtyard and generous hall with a floating stair act as the mediator between the front parent’s zone, rear family living zone and first floor kid’s zone. The house is filled with sun throughout the year and a palette of light, airy materials contribute to the feeling of light and space.

Sustainability innovation


The project includes a number of sustainable solutions and implemented passive design techniques to reduce the load on the building’s mechanical systems.

Given the south facing orientation of the site, the central courtyard and a number of strategic skylights allow for natural light in all of the living areas, reducing the demand on artificial lighting. The first-floor cantilevers over the ground floor at the rear and in the central courtyard, to provide deep shading to the western glazed areas.

The services were grouped in a long wing along the eastern elevation, and deep reveals and a steel window surround provided shading to the west facing first floor windows. The pool is heated by solar power, and the house is also runner by solar panels located on the first-floor roof.

The high degree of sustainability achieved throughout the project was due in no small part to the progressive and innovative thinking of the clients.

First published date: 28 September 2017

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