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Black Box by Form_art Architects

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5 houses by 5 practices: Black Box by Form_art Architects

The idea of the mews served as the starting point for Black Box in more ways than just its physical location. In contrast to the traditional mews architecture of solid brick enclosures with tiny windows and little daylight, this design is filled with light, but still respects the contextual language of a ‘solid box’.

The design features of the entrance courtyard and staircase are key to the purpose of getting light into the heart of the house. As a result of the physical area given over to the courtyard, the ephemeral qualities created are ‘borrowed’ back, so to speak. This essentially refers to the light and views, with the staircase serving as a journey up Black Box right through to the skylight. This can best be described as the layering of views and the ‘bouncing’ of light within the house.


Simultaneously developed as a house gallery and vice versa, the design is a continuation of Form_art’s work with artists and galleries, including our current engagement with Tate Liverpool. The volume of space carved out by expressing the brickwork enclosure enables the inside to hold a pure white ‘floating’ box, suspended to further express the interior’s language of ‘objects’.

The project is testimony to Form_art’s ethos of generating work to test and develop ideas. This process provides us with complete artistic freedom as designer and client, and hence there is an uncompromised approach from initial design through to completion.

Constance Lau, Form_art Architects

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Interesting staircase. I cannot see how, as illustrated, it even approaches meeting building regs - i.e. no gaps in rails of greater than 100mm. It is totally open on one side, and large gaps on other side. But the design is central to the space...
    So a question for Form_art ?
    How were you able to get this staircase design through building regs ? And if it does not meet the regs - why are we not seeing the final version - that is legally permissable ?

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