Garden House

Hayhurst and Co., London, 2015


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The roof is stepped with triangular-sectioned, stainless-steel trays 

Kilian O'Sullivan     Download Original

  • The roof is stepped with triangular-sectioned, stainless-steel trays    
  • The live-work studio sits within an east London conservation area    
  • The garden comprises more than 800 sedums and heathers    
  • The garden is striking yet accessible    
  • A workroom and office sit beneath the asymmetrical roof pitch    
  • The workspace is panelled in oak    
  • Wall-hung steel stairs lead to the upper workspace    
  • The bedroom    
  • The kitchen is on the ground floor    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • FIrst floor plan    
  • Sections A to F    
  • Section AA    
  • Concept drawing    
  • Roof sketches    
  • Details for roof ridge, parapet, walkway and garden tray    
  • Shelving detail    
  • Stair detail    
  • Working detail for garden tray, fire escape walkway, parapet flashing and roof garden    

A striking stepped roof garden is the highlight of this two-level live-work building for a leatherworking costumier.

On the site of a single-storey workshop itself built in the mid-1990s, Whitaker Malem wished to create a new home and studio that maximised the space and natural light available within its tight, north-facing site behind Victorian terraced housing in Hackney’s De Beauvoir Conservation area. The most obvious feature of the new structure is its ziggurat-like roof, stepped with triangular-sectioned, stainless-steel trays holding several hundred sedums, heathers, flowers and herbs.

There is a living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor; above them, under asymmetrical roof pitches, are a workroom, office, and small bathroom. The irregular envelope of Garden House is the product of two conflicting requirements: the need to protect neighbours’ rights of light and internal visibility with controlled outlooks; and the desire to bring natural light into the building in the most effective and interesting ways. 

At Garden House, Hayhurst and Co has imagined and produced naturally lit spaces of quite distinct characters.


  • Begun: May 2014
  • Completed: Mar 2015
  • Floor area: 99m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £305,000
  • Procurement: JCT MWD 2011
  • Address: 27 Buckingham Rd, London, N1 4DG, United Kingdom

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