Dog's Tooth House

Basha-Franklin, London, 2019


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Photography by Marek Sikora     Download Original

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The clients loved the utilitarian feel of a loft, natural materials, and were attracted to mid-century Modernist design.

They wanted a bright day room to better connect the garden with the home. Exposed steel for super-structure, steel windows, unique blonde brickwork to suit the context, a concrete floor, and oak-veneered plywood for a new stair and kitchen married their loves with the design vision.

The existing kitchen was small and dining area dark, so a large skylight over the side return helps combine these whilst bathing the room in daylight. Materiality and craftmanship is at the core of the design approach. Client, engineer and architect spent a long time evaluating the right brick for its tone, format, bond, mortar and assembly.

Reinterpreting the context, the design devised a dog’s tooth bond for the envelope, using the thinness of the brick to help the elevation appear taller. Reversing directions between fascia and wall creates a changing geometric shadow which adds subtle depth to the appearance of the brickwork.

The language is respectful but new: the supplier told us their brick has not been laid in this bond before. Finding the right contractor to mock up, and build the assembly, in-situ, having discarded a pre-cast alternative, was crucial. Graham Battson brought over 35 years' experience to bear hand cutting and setting a small but complex lift of brickwork to the walling and fascia.

Overall the design tells of a simple, unfussy use of enduring materials. Countersunk steelwork connections celebrate the mechanical nature of structural support; thumb imprints are left exposed on the sides of the bricks when removed from moulds. This attention to detail was mirrored internally through Barnaby Reynolds' work creating a timeless stair and kitchen. The project is testament to working as co-creators using each skillset to its best potential.

Annual CO2 emissions data (requested in kg/m2/year) was not provided.


  • Begun: Nov 2017
  • Completed: Aug 2019
  • Floor area: 49m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £195,000
  • Funding: private
  • Tender date: Jul 2017
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works With Contractor's Design Portion 2016
  • Address: Stoke Newington, London, N16, United Kingdom