MAP House

Sam Architects, London, 2015


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  • external view shutters closing    
  • external view    
  • view of stair/kitchen    
  • view of kitchen    
  • inside out view    
  • family bathroom     
  • kids bedroom    
  • stair    
  • location plan    
  • basement plan    
  • Ground Floor plan    
  • First Floor plan    
  • Section     
  • Front Elevation    
  • Rear Elevation    

A new-build houseon the site of an old garage in South East London

In 2011 Sam Architects co-founder Melanie Schubert bought a double garage in a charming mews in Denmark Hill. The site is very small measuring 7x7m and no other developable land, however the architect could see the opportunity to design a house in this unique location hidden away behind the listed buildings lining the main road.

This is a project with some classic ingredients: two architects building their own house, a baby on the way and tight financial constraints.

The architect decided to take on the full site management to ensure quality in the works and to keep to cost to a minimum.

The house was carefully designed to be modern yet fitting into the conservation area amongst several listed buildings. The façade is made of reclaimed dark bricks and black mortar, gunmetal-coloured minimal windows and burned timber cladding.

The ground floor opens up to the mews with a large window that slides away to open up fully during warmer days. During the night the window is hidden away behind the automated gates which open outwards to create a framed view from the inside of the house.

Entering you find yourself in an open plan kitchen dining area which allows for entertaining kids and adults in equal measures. An open stair leads to the first floor with two bedrooms and bathroom all overlooking the small park at the front of the building. The stairs have a large rooflight above to bring further light into the house. Behind a hidden door next to the fridge you can enter the well-lit basement which contains a guest room, study, utility room and shower room.

Underfloor heating throughout the house is combined with an air-source-heat-pump; this, plus a high amount of insulation, rainwater storage and a very air tight building fabric, allowed the house be very cost efficient in its day to day running.


  • Begun: Apr 2014
  • Completed: Jul 2015
  • Floor area: 140m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £250,000
  • Funding: private
  • Procurement: n/a self built
  • Address: 25 Canning Cross, London, SE5 8BH, United Kingdom

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