Summer House

Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects, Greenwich, London, 2011


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View from main house looking south east 

Tim Crocker (website)     Download Original

  • View from main house looking south east    
  • View from Main House looking south east    
  • West elevation of new Summer House    
  • South east elevation showing Summer House cantilevering across the sloping site    
  • Detail showing clerestory at junction of two volumes    
  • Approach to Summer House from Lawn    
  • Interior    
  • Interior    
  • Interior    
  • Interior    
  • Location plan    
  • Plan layout and wall build up    
  • Section and details    
  • East and south elevations    
  • North and west elevations    
  • Plan layout options    
  • Concept sketch model    

Summer House in the grounds of a building designed by and for renowned modernist architect Peter Moro. 50sqm timber frame building in a conservation area set in a mature garden setting.

The project is a summer house in the grounds of a building designed by and for renowned modernist architect Peter Moro.

Our clients, who wish to remain anonymous, are both acclaimed artists. They approached Simon Fraser to create a summer house and space for relaxation in the grounds of their home. Together they developed the concept of a new building formed from two interlocking cubes distinguished by a clerestory and angled obtusely, one extending to float above the slope of the site.

The site lies within the Blackheath conservation area; the listed modernist house, mature planting and topography of the garden provide a rich context to which the new building responds.

In locating the new summer house, our brief was to work around the existing landscape and mature trees; as a result, it occupies the sloping south-east corner of the site and faces out to the west, towards the house and garden, maximising afternoon light.

The new building is formed from two interconnected volumes, each of which provide different spatial qualities. A solid form appears to float above the slope of the site; slot windows providing glimpses into the treescape beyond. A more transparent volume addresses the lawn, with bifolding doors leading on to a timber decking providing a physical connection to the landscape.

The building, constructed by Ecoism with structural design by Built Engineers, is highly insulated and airtight and has been wrapped in natural materials reflective the landscape setting. Copper panels on the ‘solid’ volume were patinated by the artists and respond to rainfall and changing weather conditions.

The design arose through close consultation with the artists as well as the local planning authority and civic groups.

The summer house was completed in September 2011.


  • Begun: Mar 2011
  • Completed: Sep 2011
  • Floor area: 50m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £155,628
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Dec 2010
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works/single stage selective tendering
  • Address: Blackheath, Greenwich, London, SE10, United Kingdom

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