Invisible House

JaK Studio Consultancy, London , 0



All photographs Francesco Russo / Anushe Low     Download Original

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The site is a small plot within the Brockley Conservation Area. It previously hosted a two-storey coach house servicing the grand Victorian houses on Manor Avenue. At the time of purchasing the site however, it was occupied by a derelict double garage.

From the outset, the restricted plot size, its location within a conservation area, its proximity to properties overlooking it and a number of mature trees on the site all constituted an immense challenge.

To accommodate the two bedrooms requested by our client, we developed a layout over three storeys with the living spaces at first-floor level and the bedrooms and bathrooms occupying the lower levels. A lightwell ensures that natural light reaches the basement while providing, along with the roof terrace, a sufficient external amenity space.

As a proud member of Lewisham's diverse artistic community, our client was eager to give the project a social dimension. He employed a local workforce of people he already knew and others he engaged from the local neighbourhood.

Making a house that blends into its surroundings resulted in a 'mirror box' hovering over a more traditional-build ground floor making the whole house volume feel much smaller than it actually is.

At ground-floor level the entrance is aligned with the pavement to engage with the streetscape, by contrast, the upper level is clad in highly reflective glass designed to reflect the foliage of the trees which flank the property as well as the surrounding Victorian architecture, effectively creating an optical illusion which serves to camouflage the building, all the while seamlessly incorporating the windows of the living space.


  • Floor area: 72m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £242,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Dec 2021
  • Procurement: Self-build
  • CO2 Emissions: 2879kg/m2/year
  • Address: Manor Avenue, London , SE4 1TD, United Kingdom

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