Self Build Homes on Small Urban Plots: Book Review

self build homes on small urban plots

“The Japanese House Reinvented” by Philip Jodidio is the latest addition to our library of design books. It was the only book about self build homes on small urban plots that enticed me at the end of my visit to “The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945” exhibition at the Barbican. A must-see exhibition if self build homes or housing in general is of interest.  On my initial flick through, I thought the book had struck a good balance between beautiful architectural photography, plans and sections as well as text to explain the features a camera cannot reach. Too many architecture & design books include stunning photography but lack drawings or text to explain what is really going on beyond the one or two shots. All the houses included in the book have been designed by renowned Japanese architects and there is a theme of experimentation and inventiveness, especially in the projects built either in Tokyo or other dense urban cities in Japan. I wondered whether there were lessons to learn from how Japanese architects and their clients have optimised self build homes on small urban plots often acquired at a premium.

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Glass box extension and how to keep it cool

Glass box extension - Islington, London

A glass box extension is the ideal design solution for creating a space that connects with the exterior whilst providing the thermal comfort of an interior. A client approached us to design a glass box extension for a side return that is surrounded on three sides by brick walls. A small kitchen diner currently opens into the area through French doors and the side return serves merely as thoroughfare to the garden. The size of the space and the nature of its surroundings was suited to a glass box extension, but the budgetary constraints meant that other options needed to be explored. Here are some of the points that have come up during our design explorations with the client. Read more

Renovating a Home in 2017 – Read Our Guide for What to Consider

Renovating a home in 2017 is no longer limited to improving the spatial flow, the installation of double glazing nor the fitting of on trend finishes, technology is opening up a realm of possibilities for what a delightful yet energy efficient home could be. Combining both hardware and software, I will share with you some of the methods that we have used to make recent projects more efficient in their energy consumption.

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Architecture events happening near you

London self-build, urban infill house, Peckham

This month, I made a very conscious effort to fill my diary with architecturally related events. It was sparked by last month’s Open House London where I had the chance to visit three residential projects in the borough of Southwark. The three projects were the new housing development on Royal Road by Panter Hudspith Architects, The Courtyard House on Asylum Road by Mos Architects and 15 and a half Consort Road, which has gained notoriety through its appearance on Grand Designs.

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Architects’ fees

Architects' fees image
Your home is in need of major improvement and additional space. You have been scowling the web collecting images that you could see working for your home. You know you will need to work with an architect to develop the ideas and submit the necessary statutory approvals required along the way. But you have no idea how much the architect’s fees are likely to take in your overall budget for your project. Well, as much as I would like to say that this post will have all the answers that you will need, that would be an unrealistic challenge without understanding your individual project. But, what I will say is that it will offer some explanation about how architects generally calculate their fees and what I have found has worked for my practice in terms of creating transparency for clients.

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