Zig-Zag Roof House

4 S Architecture, London, 2019


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Photography by Henry Woide     Download Original

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The sculptural zig-zag roof form on the extension to this Victorian terrace is derived from the sloping roof angles of the existing property, and the pattern created by the repeating single-storey roof slopes on the street’s garden elevations

The zig-zag form allows for increased internal height and volume while responding to planning constraints. A collaborative approach between neighbours allowed both parties to benefit from greater volume at the back of their extensions, creating unexpected height at the middle of the plan. Internally, exposed timber joists beneath the zig-zag roof create a dynamic surface that adds warmth to the space and defines the dining area.

A linear roof light drops light into the deepest part of the plan creating a light filled pocket above the children’s play area, while a flat ceiling defines the kitchen to create distinct zones within the open-plan space.

Creating flexible space that would respond to the changing needs of its occupants both over the course of a day and into the future was at the heart of this design. Cabinetry in the dining area unfolds to reveal a coffee station in the mornings, which can be hidden away again to create a more formal clean-lined dining area in the evening.

A deep window reveal creates a shelf for plants, and doubles as additional seating to accommodate larger gatherings around the table without the need to store extra chairs. Bespoke magnetically fixed window blinds, ceiling speakers, and a high-level projector allow the dining space to be transformed into a screening area where children can watch films.

‘Flex’ space beneath the linear roof light has been left free of joinery initially to allow a larger play space for a toddler. In time, foldaway desks and built-in joinery will provide a place for crafts and school work.

Annual CO2 emissions data (requested in kg/m2/year) was provided as follows: 2.53 metric tons (Actual figures for 2020 based on 2 people working from home 5 days a week during Lockdown)


  • Begun: Mar 2019
  • Completed: Sep 2019
  • Floor area: 115m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £160,000
  • Funding: private
  • Tender date: Jan 2019
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • Address: Camberwell, London, SE5, United Kingdom

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