Concrete Plinth House

GOLD AWARD
WINNER
HIGHLY COMMENDED
STRUCTURAL AWARD WINNER

Location: London

Architect: DGN Studio

Client: Rebecca Layoo & Roman Meyer

Structural engineer: Built Engineers

Main contractor: Orsman Construction

Joinery: E Squared Cabinetry

Wood supplier: Ozeollietas, Latvijas Finieris, Dinesen

Species: European oak, birch ply (Latvia)

Photograph: ©NickDearden, ©BarryCho

Concrete Plinth House is a Victorian end of terrace house that has been adapted for modern living. The new, serene space is birthed from, but entirely different to, the existing architecture. The project demonstrates that through careful design and detailing, an architectural language for contemporary city living can be found using a more sustainable material than regular masonry. Timber was integral to the project. A series of concrete plinths have been embedded into the ground of the house, which stage the activities of a young couple and support the oak frame that makes up the fabric and lining of the new space. The sunken, expressed concrete substructure is a robust base that grounds the house with permanence. The white-oiled oak frame is revealed both internally and externally and has a gridded composition with infill panels of timber or glazing. The grid allows a more filtered relationship with the garden and sky beyond and prevents the space from feeling overexposed. The frame has depth due to the infill panels being pushed either to the inner or outer face so the perimeter of the building can be occupied. A row of oak sash windows extends the space into the side alley and allows cross ventilation of the space.