CLT House

Unknown Works, Leyton, 2022



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Unknown Works has bookended a semi-detached, brick infill terrace house with striking yellow extensions to the front and rear, uplifting both the banal suburban streetscape and existing ground floor layout.

Balancing a tight budget and brief, the clients tasked Unknown Works with adding space for their young family’s musical and creative pursuits, ensuring the layout could be adapted for hosting festive parties and intimate family gatherings. The cramped and dark ground floor required reconnection to the rest of the house, as did the large leafy rear garden. Unknown Works chose to use cross-laminated timber (CLT) as a flexible, cost-effective, sustainable building technology. The creative studio designed a kit of prefabricated structural panels in Spruce CLT which were assembled onsite in just 4 days. The CLT panels have been insulated, coated in textural render, and painted a bold banana yellow to form a stepped rear extension and cubic front porch. The yellow additions are tempered by gently rounded edges to bring a softness to their overall form, and stainless steel rain chains – a traditional Japanese guttering option – negate any visual clutter caused by downpipes. The construction and exterior finishing exemplifies Unknown Works’ creative exploration of materials and how stretching their conventional uses can add life and dynamism to even the most pedestrian setting.


  • Begun: Sep 2021
  • Completed: Jun 2022
  • Floor area: 75m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £240,125
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Apr 2021
  • Procurement: CONTRACT : JCT Minor Works Building Contract PROCUREMENT : Traditional
  • CO2 Emissions: 305.07kg/m2/year
  • Address: Leyton, E15, United Kingdom

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