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Alma-nac wins planning for 'Wedge House' on constrained south-east London site

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Plans by emerging practice Alma-nac, for a wedge-shaped house squeezed onto a 20m² plot in Nunhead, south-east London, have been given the go-ahead

The three-storey, 52m² house in Ivydale Road uses a wedge-shaped plan, which the practice says ‘maximises the site footprint’. As a result, the building will taper from 2.8m internally at the front of the site to 1.9m at the rear. 

The £260,000 house, on the super-tight site between two terraces, will include one bedroom, a kitchen on the ground floor, and a rear courtyard garden.

Alma-nac director Tristan Wigfall said: ‘With such a small footprint, it was a real challenge to ensure that we could create a comfortable and practical home that satisfied the relevant housing and planning guidelines.

‘We sought to create a bookend to the terrace that tied in with the established pattern of the street while accommodating the additional storey – three storeys as opposed to two within the neighbouring house – that was essential to create the required space.’

He added: ‘With space at such a premium we have tried to create floor plans that are as open as possible and connected via a top-lit central staircase. Circulation space is minimised and all spaces are naturally lit and ventilated.’

Work is set to start on site next month (June), with a completion date scheduled for January 2018. 

In addition, Alma-nac has been given the go ahead for plans to design a 18m², single-storey extension to the rear of the existing terrace, next to the Wedge House site, for the same client. 

In 2013, Alma-nac extensively remodeled and extended a 2.3m wide terraced house in Clapham, south London. 

Alma nac ivydale road 11

Alma nac ivydale road 11

Source: Alma-nac

Plan of Wedge House and extension to existing house

Architect’s view

The proposal comprises a simple wedge-shaped plan that fully maximises the site footprint, tapering from 2.8m internally at the front of the site to 1.9m at the rear. A ground-level kitchen has views over a rear courtyard garden, with an open tread timber stair connecting to a first-floor living space. At second floor level the full volume of the roof space is used, with roof windows providing natural light and ventilation for a bedroom space and study/dressing room.

In conjunction to the new-build house, a rear extension to the main house completes the proposal. A similar courtyard creates a break between the existing house and the new addition with a vaulted ceiling and roof windows. The new space provides a dining/living area that opens on to an enlarged kitchen with views of both the newly created courtyard and a direct connection to the garden.

Project data

Location Nunhead, South East London
Type of project Residential
Client Private
Architect Alma-nac
Structural engineer Constant Structural Design
Main contractor AKC Europe
Funding Private
Tender date April 2017
Start on site date June 2017
Completion date January 2018
Contract duration 8 months
Gross internal floor area 52m² + 18m² rear extension
Form of contract and/or procurement RIBA Domestic Building Contract / Traditional
Total cost £260,000 excluding VAT (construction)








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