A house by Threefold Architects includes a double-height atrium at its heart


Charles Hosea

Located at the end of a row of detached houses in Highgate, north London, Garden House is a 450-square-metre new-build dwelling designed by Threefold Architects. The generous plot is an existing garden that is screened from the surrounding street and houses by mature trees and perimeter planting.

Designed to maximise the connection between the ground-floor living spaces and the secluded site, the house comprises two raised volumes which ‘float’ above the sloping terrain and are supported on brick piers. Below is a lightweight, double-height, glass atrium that creates a dramatic circulation space at the heart of the building, while also ensuring good daylighting.

Set against the slope of the site, the rear spaces, including the living room and study, are dug into the garden with views out across the lawn. The kitchen and drawing room to the front of the plan open onto a south-facing terrace.

The ground-floor living spaces and first-floor bedrooms address the garden on one side and the daylight-filled atrium on the other. A lightweight bridge and feature staircase provide access to the upper level.

The scheme employs a palette of natural materials with dark charred bricks used for the ‘heavy’ ground floor elements and a textured white brick for the first-floor volumes. Inside, extensive bespoke oak joinery makes reference to a mature protected oak tree around which the plan is arranged.

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Threefold Architects
Structural engineer
Tall Engineers
Bryen & Langley

Structural glass atrium
Vitrine Systems
Sliding doors
External glazed doors, windows