Dartmouth Park House

AY Architects, London, 2016


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

View from the outside 

Nick Kane     Download Original

  • View from the outside    
  • Mahogany features throughout the home    
  • A formerly gloomy warren has been turned into a bright and airy family home    
  • The specially crafted staircase links all four floors of the house    
  • Additional stiffening is provided by the balustrade    
  • Side view of the staircase    
  • Timber tops the balustrade    
  • The project pulls light back into the heart of the building    
  • The staircase was inserted into the three-storey void that was created to connect the front street elevation with the rear of the house    
  • Ground floor and basement plans    
  • First and second floor plans    
  • Section AA    
  • Sections BB and DD    
  • Sections CC    
  • Stair detail sections    

AY has remade a short end-of-terrace house made narrower by a ground floor shop used as an office. The aim has been to re-unite the building as one home.

Pulling light back into the heart of the building and ridding it of doors and short corridors was the primary task; creating two slots and articulating the knuckle between the two with a staircase has been the solution. AY has scooped out the gloomy and narrow staircase compartment and a landing bathroom and created a full-height slot some 9m high and glazed to the rear.

The theatricality of the staircase negotiating the angle between these slots creates a sense of movement through the house – it is a place to be discovered, rather than laid out to be taken in at a glance. The iMist fire safety system has allowed an absence of compartmentalisation, with only bedrooms and bathrooms needing doors. 

The second slot was created within the middle of the full-width rear extensions in the form of a courtyard sunk to ground floor level, dividing the living areas from a new bedroom floor across the court on the rear boundary wall. Within this court a lay-light illuminates a basement study, while a second at the upper, surrounding terrace at first floor level is placed above a bath and shower. The new layout creates a room for entertaining between front façade and courtyard on the ground floor, with a kitchen and dining room at the first floor that have direct access to the roof terrace. Bedrooms and bathrooms are scattered across three floors. Views are possible from the front of the house, through the courtyard and bedroom, and then out to the steeply sloping back gardens. 


  • Begun: Sep 2015
  • Completed: Jul 2016
  • Floor area: 216m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Procurement: JCT ICD 11
  • Address: Dartmouth Park, London, NW5 1SU, United Kingdom

Professional Team