Wittering House

Location
Finsbury Park, North London
Architects
Charles Bettes
Products
Smoked black

A Gem nestled in traditional architecture

Wittering House is a stylish home built on a difficult infill site in Finsbury Park, North London. Contemporary in design, and providing a discreet intervention in a street of Victorian houses, the 80 sqm. two-bedroom home is a contextual and sympathetic response to its location.

Previously overlooked for its size, the site enabled Charles to break into the fiercely expensive central London housing market, while still giving him and his wife scope to live comfortably and elegantly.

The architecture had to be at once sympathetic to its location and individual in its identity. The site is surrounded by Victorian terraces, and the materials were carefully selected to fit with the very small scale of the house as well as complement neighbouring buildings.

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Selected materials

The S.Anselmo Smoked Brick made delivered a contemporary design without overpowering the other buildings in its vicinity. The brick offered a robust solution at street level, which was complemented by brass cladding of the first floor.

The brief was all about creating a relaxing and calming haven that feels peaceful and stripped back. This guided decision-making was followed from planning the layout through to selecting the finishes. Having a coherent material language flowing between the spaces of the house, magnified the modest spaciousness of this small home. Given the small site size, careful space planning, thoughtful choice of materials and consideration of proportions were paramount to creating a comfortable layout. After all, it is the use of space not the number of rooms or size that makes a relaxing home.

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Every choice had an impact on the final product; design decisions were driven by creating a space that maximised internal areas, whilst allowing enough light and air to enter the house so that it did not feel cramped. 

This was all achieved by keeping partition walls and circulation space to a minimum. Carefully considering every cm, the space under the stairs was utilised, the sections between rooms was planned to be narrow, and built-in wardrobes were installed in the upstairs bedroom and the living room.

Sustainability

Whilst design and materiality were key to the design of this house, so too was its environmental impact - and this small development achieves a lot, with PV panels, high levels of insulations, above average daylight factors and a BEPC rating.

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Great quality in small spaces

While the site is tiny and the house is not large, the innovative layout along with the layering of spaces ensures the interior areas feel spacious, successfully illustrating that with a thoughtful, well-considered approach to a site, good quality living spaces can be produced from small places.