Designed for a speculative builder, this three-storey house by Madoc Architecture is constructed on the site of two 1960s garages at the end of a terrace on a corner plot in Finsbury Park, north London. ‘The site boundary is formed by the gable wall of the adjacent terraced house’, says architect Pascal Madoc Jones. ‘This condition exists in towns and cities all over the UK to the extent that it goes unnoticed. The project explores an architectural language for a formal end to a terrace of houses, akin to Georgian examples which provide an elevation on the return, or the Victorian corner shop’.
Single-storey living room with adjoining open-plan kitchen and low-level garden window
The site, which had been subject to several failed planning applications over a 15-year period, posed a number of constraints. Chief among these was that the footprint of the new house had to match that of the existing garages. Other requirements included a two-metre setback above ground-floor level on the rear elevation, and there were to be no windows on the upper storeys of the flank elevation due to overlooking concerns. In addition, the depth of the new building was limited by the constrained plot depth, which was significantly shallower than that of neighbouring properties.
The living spaces are contained within a single-storey element adjacent to the main body of the house
The house is conceived as a continuation of the terrace frontage which is ‘stretched’ around a curved stair and recessed entrance to form a visual break. An adjacent slender masonry bedroom block acts as a ‘bookend’ to the street, while a projecting single-storey living room, aligning with the bay windows of the terrace signifies the transition in scale from three-storeys down to the garden.