"The house brings together Rick Mather's understanding of, and commitment to, the classic modern movement style and his highly developed use of glass. Both internally and externally there is skillful manipulation of light and view while maintaining privacy."
RIBA National Award
This house adds to the tradition of Modernist villas in Hampstead, starting in the 1930s with houses by Maxwell Fry, Samuel & Harding and Connell, Ward & Lucas.
The site is at the top of Hampstead with views over London and the Heath. It was previously occupied by a 1950s four car garage with flats above and below. The surroundings are eighteenth and nineteenth century houses in brick and stucco; the planners had suggested only mock Georgian would be acceptable but eventually the completely modern design was given permission, endorsed by the neighbours and the influential Old Heath and Hampstead Society.
The three storey dwelling opens up to roof terraces and down to the two levels of garden. Inside, the three levels interconnect through the double-height rooflit living space and down through the glass floor to the indoor swimming pool. A glass staircase rises over the pool to the top floor. The roof light above fulfils the client's requirement to be able to float in the pool and see the sky. The pool and two studies at this level open out to the lower garden. Views from the house are carefully controlled by the placement of the windows, translucent screens and landscaping to 'edit out' surrounding houses.
Structural glass is used extensively throughout the house; in the large rooflight over the double-height living space, glass flooring, stair treads and risers, balustrading and external lay lights (which allow light from the basement to illuminate the front facade), and in a glass 'slot' which runs between the main house and the front extension.
RIBA Stirling Prize - Runner up
Civic Trust Award
House & Garden (US)
Blueprint - life in prism
Wendy Moonan - May 01
House & Garden
Design Solutions - Exposure
Helen Kirwan-Taylor - April 00
Spazi di vetro (Glass spaces)
Patrizia Malfatti - Oct 99
It's in London and it's a lovely white house on a hill (but not as you'd imagine it)
Nonie Niesewand - 11 Dec 97
Robert Maxwell - Nov 97