Private Award Winner 2008
Location: St Albans
Building Owner: Private
Architect: Simon Conder Associates
Builder/Main Contractor: Dunworth Builders
Structural Engineers: Built Engineers
Joinery Company: Subcontractor provided by Dunworth Builders
Wood Species Used: European Redwood (Scandinavia) for roof structure, Iroko for fencing and decking.
The clients, a professional couple with two young daughters, wanted to be build a new house on a typically surburban road in St Albans. A legal covenant meant that the new house had to be single storey and have a flat roof,unusual constraints in such a traditional environment.
The accommodation required included an open plan kitchen/dining room,a conservatory, a separate living room, two studies, four bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The scale of the family accommodation, the limited width of the site and the limitations of single storey development, all led to a simple courtyard layout. The courtyards at the front of the property act as a buffer zone to the street, and the courtyards in the central part of the house provide light, ventilation and external spaces to rooms that would otherwise be entirely internal.
The height of the two main living spaces has been increased to create a more generous sense of space and the clearstorey glazing catches the evening and morning sun.
The original budget was £1500.00 per square metre but the house was completed for only £1358.26 per square metre, an extraordinarily low price for a single storey courtyard house.
This very tight budget was reflected in the very basic palette of materials, blockwork walls and European Redwood roof and glazing structures, which were chosen because small local builders would be familiar with them. Externally the walls were finished in a white insulated render. Internally the walls were plastered and the floor was power floated concrete.
Iroko was also used extensively to provide the slatted fencing at the front of the property and the courtyard decking.