1 Southwick Yard

15 August 2019

Belsize Architects designed 1 Southwick Yard; a secluded new build flat within the Hyde Park Estate in Paddington, surrounded by five and six-storey buildings.  Due to the location of the premises, getting natural light into the property was a major concern during the design process. The properties state of repair and dysfunctional layout encouraged the architects to demolish and rebuild the property rather than to extend or remodel.

The Sky House Design Centre is home to Contrasol Ltd and IQ Glass, both of whom were a part of this challenging project which is a great example of the collaborative nature of the design centre. Each supplier had the same aim, to maximise the potential of an awkwardly positioned but highly valuable mews.

Let There Be Light

IQ Glass was an essential part of this project as gaining as much natural light as possible was imperative. The minimal sliding glass doors were selected for all door openings from the living spaces and bedrooms to the outside with minimal frames to make the most of the very limited outdoor space as seen below.

As the property is surrounded by taller buildings the architects used IQ Glass to design and install a large structural glass skylight to bring in light from above and the glass balustrades of the decorative central staircase allow the light to flow seamlessly throughout each floor.

Charred Kebony by Shou Sugi Ban®

Shou Sugi Ban® Burnt Timber Cladding is exclusive to Exterior Solutions Ltd and is a favourite amongst designers including Belsize architects. The cladding, planters, framing, bin store and louvres are all custom made from Charred Kebony which is an extremely durable and sustainable product. Kebonys environmentally friendly patented technology modifies sustainably sourced softwoods. The nature of Shou Sugi Ban gives it the unpredictability you desire in a bespoke project and Exterior Solutions are continuously developing more products tailor-made for almost every project as they have done for 1 Southwick Yard.  The louvres were manufactured from 4 pieces of Charred Timber and presented to Contrasol Ltd for installation with their custom-made system.

7no Vertically Hung fins

Contrasol Ltd designed and managed the bespoke finishing process of the 7no vertically hung fins as well as the installation process. The front façade at ground floor and the side façade at first floor have been finished in Shou Sugi Ban® which is a technique originated in Japan of burning timber that has a typical life expectancy of between 60 to 80 years. There was extensive prestart co-ordination with both the Architects and the Main Contractors by specialists of Contrasol who developed the fins into a series of remote-controlled moving panels that can control light and privacy into the ground-floor living space.

The addition of a basement and the open plan living/dining/kitchen area at ground floor level helped maximise the site’s spatial and financial potential.  The Southwick Yard Project was shortlisted for RICS Awards in 2018 and with the result of the transformation from a single-bedroom mews cottage into a 4 bedroom, 3-storey dream home, it’s well deserved.

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