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FIRST LOOK

Hackney Road eruption: Volcano House by Urban Mesh

  • 2 Comments

The newbuild family home features a façade of specially commissioned ‘Black Volcano’ brickwork which lends the house its name

Sited off the Hackney Road in East London and designed by Urban Mesh for practice director, Oliver Lazarus, the 220m² Volcano House takes its name from the brick developed specifically for the project.

The house consists of four bedrooms, a ground-floor studio, a series of home offices and garden terraces. The wedge-shaped footprint gradually opens out through its 20m depth from a 3.7m frontage.

Volcano House by Urban Mesh design ltd Charles Hosea 02

Volcano House by Urban Mesh design ltd Charles Hosea 02

Volcano House was constructed on an abandoned plot that had been an open yard at the rear of a grocers. The black façade sits distinctively on the street, which is in a conservation area, while also fitting neatly in compositionally with that of dRMM’s more colourful 2013 ‘WoodBlock House’. The ‘Black Volcano’ brick is used in three bands of differing treatments, alternating with mirrored polished panels.

Volcano House by Urban Mesh design ltd Charles Hosea 07

Volcano House by Urban Mesh design ltd Charles Hosea 07

Inside, a variety of volumes are naturally lit with generous glazing. The central circulation space opens out into a games room that is designed to be functional as well as reminiscent of the family’s former home in a Victorian maisonette. A secluded street-facing bamboo terrace leads off the master bedroom and a small glazed courtyard opens out from guest accommodation and an open-ceilinged yoga studio.    

Volcano House by Urban Mesh design ltd Charles Hosea 14

Volcano House by Urban Mesh design ltd Charles Hosea 14

Architect’s view

The project has been a labour of love from purchase and planning through to construction and fit out. Given the opportunity, what architect could resist the opportunity to build their own house, especially so close to home in London? The nature of the site pushed us as architects to create something engaging in the streetscape and to create a generous home with functional, beautifully proportioned and well-connected spaces. As a family it gave us the incredible opportunity to build a lifetime home in an area we lived and loved.

Oliver Lazarus, director, Urban Mesh

25 coate st section

25 coate st section

Project data

Start date Feb 2016
Completion date May 2018
Size 220m²
Cost £566,000
Architect Urban Mesh design
Structural engineer Form SD
M&E Prospero Projects
Party walls Osei Design
Shell contractor Get Turner 
Fit-out contractor Self Build
Joinery C&G Furniture Design
Metalwork Redhouse Forge

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Readers' comments (2)

  • A very clever plan making use of a narrow constrained site.
    Pity AJ couldn't manage to post the plans, but they are on the architects web site, dezeen & etc.
    Lovely brick, and lots of great brick patterning, and other metal textures.
    The interior repays all the hard work by the architect.
    NB AJ not enough pictures.
    Perhaps black is not the greatest colour for a building, especially a house.

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  • The Volcano House and adjoining Woodblock House look like they're on a street in Tokyo.
    But, imagine if dRMM's confection had been monochrome - or, for that matter, if Urban Mesh's preference had been for bright hues; more food for thought on the role of planners / responsibilities of architects, particularly in conservation areas?

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