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FIRST LOOK

Harp & Harp completes Arts and Crafts-inspired house on Wimbledon terrace

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Sitting on a former garage site in south-west London, this new-build house features three-tone brickwork laid in an English bond with ‘basketweave’ detailing

The three-bed house, on the site of a former garage at the end of an existing terrace in Wimbledon Park, has been designed as a prototype for infill sites. It exceeds previous code level 4 standards with a fabric-first approach, being highly insulated and having PV panels and tripled-glazed windows.

Referencing the 1930s Arts and Crafts terrace to which the new build house is attached, the ground-floor external brickwork incorporates three different tones of red to provide variety and a pattern. The brickwork has a flush lime mortar and has been laid in an English bond with basketweave brickwork bands above the doors and windows, and on the bay.

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Black and white tiled panels reference traditional pathways found on the Edwardian properties opposite the site. Above the ground floor, brickwork is roughcast render painted white – also seen locally. 

Inside, cost-efficient materials and finishes have been chosen for this speculative development. Simple oak engineered board is used for the flooring, laid at 45 degrees. Colour is applied to the woodwork to contrast with the light pink walls, creating a muted palette.

Large triple-glazed windows have been carefully positioned to bring lots of light into the home.

Harp&harp mountrd adamscott 13

Architect’s view

We were looking to match the patina of the aged bricks on the neighbouring properties. Our design responds to both the Edwardian context opposite and the 1930s terrace to which the property is now attached.

We almost set ourselves the task of trying to create an unmistakably modern house but one that felt as comfortable and characterful as the period homes that surround it. We didn’t want the house to feel austere or stark, nor pastiche and forgettable, and through its detail and refinement, we feel it achieves the right blend, sitting comfortably in its suburban setting while also lifting the street scene with its decorative flourishes.

This house demonstrates that through efficient planning and careful consideration of detailing, modern family homes can be created that are sustainable and sit comfortably within their established contexts. With so many of these brownfield sites still undeveloped throughout London’s suburbs, this model of development could provide a blueprint for construction in areas that have previously been opposed to development ‘in their back yard’.

Kayleigh Harp, director, Harp & Harp

Gf plan

Project data

Start on site March 2019
Completion date January 2020
Gross internal floor area 89m²
Gross (internal + external) floor area 173m²
Form of contract or procurement route Traditional procurement (JCT intermediate contract with contractor design)
Construction cost £243,000
Construction cost per m2 £2,725
Architect Harp & Harp
Client Private
Structural engineer BTA Structural Design
Sustainability Greengauge
CDM co-ordinator No Nonsense CDM
Approved building inspector London Building Control
Main contractor Eldeco
CAD software used AutoCAD

Environmental performance data

On-site energy generation 1KW
Daily mains water consumption 85.86 litres per person
Airtightness at 50pa 3.66m3/h.m2
Heating and hot water load 49 kwh/m2/yr
Area-weighted U-values 0.15 (walls), 0.13 (floors and roofs), 0.74 (windows and doors)
Annual CO2 emissions 1020 KgCO2eq/m

Side elevation

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Readers' comments (1)

  • A speculative development? The brickwork aesthetic looks to be very, very, personal taste.
    And as for picking up on the local aesthetic, some of the neighbours presumably have parquet flooring?

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