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There are still good examples of innovative architecture – whether it’s urban buildings or architectural beams in a more rural environment.
The Shadow House sets at least other houses in the shadow, and is a good example of a building that tries to create its own expression in urban surroundings.
The Shadow House or Shadow House, if you want, is designed by the architects Sophie Goldhill and David Liddicoat. Two 30-year-old 30-year-old architects attending the Royal College of Art, who together have built up the architectural office Liddicoat & Goldhill.
Shadow House is their own home and has already won the Royal Institute of British Architects Award 2011.
Now the house is nominated for the prestigious Manser Medal, awarded by the same institute, to the best new house in the UK in 2011.
The property is located in urban London where land utilization is extreme. The starting point was to build on very limited space – and to relate to a strict budget.
Because the budget was so tight, we planned to perform as much work as possible and limited ourselves to selecting few primary materials, architect Sophie Goldhill states in Liddicoat & Goldhill.
It’s great poetry in practical things, says Sophie Goldhill, so they tried to find simple means to put together the house. They found out that the tight limits they had set were actually more liberating rather than limiting.
They had to deal with few materials. The house is also small and narrow with a gross floor area of only 77 square meters – and is built with Dutch so-called engineering stone which is a robust material with an exciting black glaze.
The interior of the windows is in larch, while the floors are laid with polished concrete floors.
The little luxury they wanted was marble. They have used it throughout the house, not least because it is like a reflective contrast to the black brick walls.
Intensity and silent shadow
According to the architects, the whole design revolves around this game of light and darkness; carefully controlled by intensity and silent shadow. It was important to create inner areas with maximum emotional effect, the philosophy behind this house sounds.
The bathroom has a huge glass ceiling that contrasts with the atmosphere of the living rooms. They wanted to create the feeling of being out. Shower in full sunshine and taking a bath under the stars.
To give a sense of space, it was important to modulate the section and vary the ceilings.
– By changing the floor level and building ceilings at different heights, they created a variation of 3 meters in the living room to 2.1 meters in the entrance area. This allowed us to give each room its own sound quality and sense of cosiness or airiness.
But just building a house does not make a home, ask the architect, who has also developed the inventory.
A minimalist bed of larch, stainless steel kitchen, marble and spray-coated matte doors, plus soft furnishings in the living room with African textiles.
In the past, they designed luxury homes for private customers and worked on projects focusing on urban housing development. It was this experience they wanted to transfer The Shadow House.
By the way, finding the plot was not easy. They cycled around London, explored back streets, looked over fences, constantly looking for a little hidden forgotten place. Finally, they discovered an abandoned car park, right behind King’s Cross.
The space was small and it seemed difficult to set up a house. And the task became even more difficult because the site was in the highly protected Camden Square Conservation Area.
Previous owner had not received a building permit, so they quickly realized that the project could only be a reality through their expertise in drawing houses in historical areas – and negotiating with neighbors and local planners.
– Pour cooking oil into the shower
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