Services Engineer, Henry Luker, and his wife Andrea commissioned a generously-sized family home in the village of Barnes in South West London. The site had severe constraints, including flood risk, privacy and daylight issues, so the form of the new house is heavily dictated by its context.
A two-storey mass hugs the rear boundary while single-storey ‘pavilion’ elements extend into the site, enveloping a courtyard. The house is subtly detailed. A British stock brick mimics the facing material of neighbouring houses.
The ground floor living spaces, all of which open onto the courtyard, are sunken to ensure privacy and to enhance the sense of journey through a sequence of spaces, culminating in a generously proportioned living room.
The use of concrete, both at sunken ground floor level and in the form of an in-situ stair, makes reference to the previous industrial nature of the site. Complementing the brick and concrete, bronze is used sparingly throughout the house.
The landscaping, designed with input from Tom Stuart Smith, further enables the house to sit comfortably within its context.
Photos by Olivier Hess & Dennis Gilbert
Luker House won an RIBA Award in 2014.
'It's that pale brick polished concrete, white plaster and timber aesthetic. Very familiar, but here done with total assurance and with a very unusual plan and aspect dictated by this difficult, landlocked former industrial site. It is difficult to evoke the quality of visual refinement within this building. Wherever you look there are combinations of planes, surfaces and light of an unusual quality. Essentially it is a one-sided building but the handling of daylight is such that you hardly notice.'