A courtyard house in west London by Henning Stummel Architects comprises a series of pavilions


Timothy Soar

Tin House is located on a backland site in west London. Creating a secluded place was a priority, writes Henning Stummel Architects. Our response was to develop a low, inward-looking courtyard arrangement that would provide both visual and acoustic privacy. A composition of different-sized pavilions responds to the irregular site perimeter. The courtyard is articulated by a rectangular pool that allows for condensation cooling in the summer and brings the facades to life with reflections from the water.


Designed to meet the requirements of Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design, the predominantly single-storey dwelling comprises a series of top-lit, metal-clad pavilions organised around a central courtyard

Conceived as an enfilade of beautiful spaces, each pavilion houses a separate room. Secondary spaces, such as washrooms, storage area and stairs, are concealed within double walls between the structures. Comprising a tall, square-plan, tapered brick chimney, the flue for the living room wood-burning stove is intended to resemble a campanile overlooking the scheme. A heat-recovery air system ensures energy-efficient ventilation.

Inspired by the work of James Turrell and the Pantheon, the pavilions incorporate low contour pyramidal roofs with a generous top-light over the centre. The rooflights can be opened on warm days and the stack-effect ensures fresh cool air is drawn-in from above the pool. Trapezoid-shaped blackout blinds were specially designed for the bedrooms.

Super-insulated (250mm of PU foam) and relatively airtight, the pavilions are clad in standing-seam steel sheets. The metal panels are coated in a warm earthy colour to complement the surrounding stock brick buildings. Modest and utilitarian, the finish is intended to accentuate the monolithic and sculptural quality of the structures.

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Henning Stummel Architects
Structural engineer
Michael Hadi Associates
Main contractor
Art n Design
Metal cladding subcontractor
Oliver Ray

Metal cladding
Prelaq Nova PLX (Newell Roofing Products)
Portuguese handmade tiles
New Terracotta
The Rooflight Company