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Lyndon Goode wins go-ahead for sunken backland home

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Lyndon Goode Architects has won planning approval for a 229m² home built into a steeply sloping backland plot in Crouch End, north London

The part-underground four-bedroom house, which burrows into the site between the rear gardens of Victorian houses in Russell Road and Wolseley Road, replaces three disused garages. 

Project architect Laura Davies said: ’The building is highly responsive to its challenging site. As an architect, working underground is slightly different because you are carving out space instead of form-finding above ground.

‘This makes it all about how to get the best quality of light. We have achieved that by pushing and pulling at corners of the building to get light down into the lower spaces.’

Work is expected to start on site in early 2019.

Section lyndon goode highgate

Section lyndon goode highgate

Architect’s view

The site’s challenging topography will yield a spacious and interesting home, with a diverse array of windows and skylights that maximise natural light. Carefully selected materials will help this contemporary building sit comfortably in the Victorian Conservation Area. Red brick references nearby terraces, while natural-finished Siberian larch gates and balustrading pick up on the woodland feel created by the mature trees in the gardens that line and define this idiosyncratic plot.

Cutting into the site’s steeply rising land will create a level threshold from Berkeley Road, and minimise the building’s visual impact on nearby houses. Two of three storeys will be visible from the street, from which the house is set back to further reduce its presence. The ground floor accommodation will extend back through the kinked and fluted plot as a series of spacious living areas running from snug to open plan kitchen and dining area, culminating in a bedroom suite or study at the back of the house.

A broad staircase runs through the core of the house, illuminated by a skylight funnelling natural light into the building’s lower reaches. On the top (first) floor a master bedroom and two further bedrooms terminate in an outdoor terrace. From here an exterior staircase descends to a second, nearly 4m deep sunken terrace. Beneath this lies a 90m² basement accommodating a cinema room, fitness room, sauna and storage areas. The basement front room is fed by natural light from windows onto a lightwell that is accessible from the front courtyard.

Lyndon goode highgate floor

First floor plan

Project details

Location Crouch End, north London
Type of project Residential
Client AON Developments
Architect Lyndon Goode Architects
Images Darcstudio
Planning consultant Lichfields Planning and Development Consultancy
Structural engineer Symmetrys
M&E consultant n/a
Funding: Private
Gross internal floor area 229m²
Form of contract tbc
Cost tbc

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