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Stolon Studio completes Cor-ten-clad mews house in Brockley

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Nicknamed the ‘Rusty House’ by neighbours, the £410,000 house remakes a corner plot adjacent to a mews entrance in south London

The four-bedroom house, designed for a growing family, replaces a jumbled collection of garages and out-buildings. It faces on to an unmade mews road, which runs parallel to a tree-lined street of four-storey Victorian houses.

The scheme is intended to be a playful and sculptural interpretation of the mews / stabling typology. From the street, the Cor-ten-clad volume rests above a reconstructed garden wall, with its other elevations facing the mews and private gardens. It was designed to be sensitive to its neighbours by minimising over-shadowing of adjacent gardens and preserving the volume occupied by an adjacent mature tree.

005 stolonstudio rustyhouse©paulmurphy int08

Internally, the principal rooms are arranged around the courtyard, with double-height open-plan living room, family kitchen and dining area. The ground floor also accommodates a study, utility room and external store. Oak stairs rise up to the first floor, where there are four bedrooms, a family bathroom and en-suite.

The clients originally approached the architect Robert Barker while he was still a director at Baca Architects, and the commission was then completed by his new practice, Stolon Studio. Sited in the Brockley Conservation Area, the design was examined by a design review panel at the request of the Lewisham planners. 

005 stolonstudio rustyhouse©paulmurphy int10

Architect’s view

This is a house without a view, so the design called for internal views through the geometric volume, and screening. At first floor, the bedrooms look over the road towards the adjacent garages and flats. Through the design of the screened perforations, this unattractive view has been fragmented, creating a fascinating display of miniature vignettes. At night, the same screening creates a diffuse glow from the illuminated rooms.

Jessica Barker, director, Stolon Studio

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Client’s view

We are extremely pleased with the finished result. The design made superb use of the space, which at 167m² was not a huge area – but Stolon’s clever design allowed us to create a large open-plan living space on the ground floor and then four well-proportioned bedrooms upstairs. The mix of materials was cleverly conceived; the combination of brick, rusted steel, timber and glass was perfectly balanced to make the house feel modern with a uniquely distinctive design – which we love!

005 rusty house presentation drawings 200114 3

Project data

Start on site November 2018
Completion May 2019
Gross internal floor area 170m²
Gross (internal + external) floor area 248m²
Form of contract Traditional using JCT 2016 (Intermediate)
Construction cost £410,000
Construction cost per m2 £2,400
Architect Stolon Studio
Client Private
Structural engineer StructureHaus
Project manager Stolon Studio
CDM coordinator Robin Bartlett
Approved building inspector Salus
Main contractor TC&D Construction
CAD software used Revit
Annual CO2 emissions 16.37kg/m²
Airtightness at 50pa 3.9m3/h.m2
Heating and hot water load 87.68kWh/m2/yr (Primary Energy)

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Industry Professional

    Great house - though whether I could live with such restricted outlook is debatable.

    Just one significant criticism - it would have been wonderful not to have a column on the internal corner of the courtyard, but I guess the structural implications coupled with cost considerations overruled its omission.

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