85 Swains Lane, Highgate, London – Projects
- Private Residential
- Eldridge Smerin Architects
- Highgate, London
The structural solution for this contemporary private house was developed to allow the occupants an unrestricted view over Highgate Cemetery at the rear of the building.
The building’s reinforced concrete structure has been designed to enable the floor plates to cantilever outwards from the central structure by four metres. This solution ensures the rear elevation is kept clear of any supporting structure, allowing it to be fully glazed. The façade’s clean appearance is further enhanced by meticulous detailing of the concealed junction between the glass, soffits and the floor plates.
Inside the reinforced concrete structure is an integral feature of the building’s minimalist interior. Here too, careful detailing has enabled the building’s services to be concealed within the walls and floor. The building’s transparency is further enhanced through the addition of a vast glazed roof light designed to allow its glazed cover to slide onto the roof, opening up the interior to the outside.
Glass also features in the staircase; a screen of glass hangs from the roof to the ground floor in the centre of the stairwell. This transparent hanging is formed from four individual glass panes joined together by hangers, held in place with only the minimum of lateral restraint. A handrail is bonded to this suspended screen.
The scheme was a winner in the 2009 RIBA Awards for the London Building of the Year.