Mountain View

CAN, London, 2020


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Photography by Jim Stephenson     Download Original

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A transformation of an Edwardian semi-detached house into a colourful family home topped with a stage set mountain.

Materials, shapes and colours are intersected throughout to create highly textural and tactile spaces. The house takes its design cues from numerous pop culture sources including a half constructed Disneyland rollercoaster and a scene from the film trainspotting. The house opens up progressively as you move through the ground floor, from the dark monochromatic front room through to the light filled extension.

The site slopes towards the garden which allowed the floor level of the back of the house to be lowered by a metre, connecting the new open plan kitchen/diner to the garden. A simple reconfiguration of the first floor provided an additional bedroom.

There was a focus on opening up the space and using the exposed textures and structure as the final finish. There is little built-in furniture to provide ultimate future flexibility.

The existing fabric of the building has been thermally upgraded throughout. The kitchen and exterior lintel facings are made from recycled chopping boards and milk bottle tops.

The exposed lasercut trusses in the extension nod to high-tech architecture and alongside the ranging pole columns, survey marker tiles and partially ruined brick wall add to a sense of the surreal. Upstairs, the hallway ceiling has been removed opening it up to a new skylight above with the bones of the old house retained. A chequerboard bathroom references original tiles found in the house.

The project is a highly personal response to the family's tastes and way of living.

Annual CO2 emissions data (requested in kg/m2/year) was provided as follows: expected - 4000kg, based on internally insulating and upgrading the heating system.


  • Begun: Jan 2020
  • Completed: Sep 2020
  • Floor area: 150m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £220,000
  • Funding: private
  • Tender date: Dec 2019
  • Procurement: Traditional. RIBA domestic contract
  • Address: Sydenham, London, SE26, United Kingdom

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