House at Shelford Road / Designshop
Text description provided by the architects. The house at Shelford Road is an exploration of intersections and their response to the distinctiveness of the site. Located at the end of a cul-de-sac with a triangular-shaped plot, the building consists of two dichotomous volumes that respond geometrically to their respective adjacent contexts.
A dark grey volume that directly connects with the neighboring house was a derivative of maximizing the permissible building envelope control guidelines; juxtaposed with a contrasting volume that echoes a more tectonic quality of radiating masses corresponding to the road, neighboring houses, and triangular site boundary condition. Pockets of garden spaces with lush planting on every floor surround the building to soften the strong geometric volumes. The resultant geometric composition of the blocks allows natural light and ventilation into the habitable spaces.
The first two floors consisting of public and semi-public areas are visually and physically connected by a double-volume sheltered patio hidden away from the road. The sheltered patio is a result of the lower block radiating towards the road, creating a hidden haven for the family to gather and meander through the spaces. On the upper floors, where the intimate spaces are located, the block opens out towards the road forming outdoor terraces with panoramic views of the vicinity. Movable aluminum screens provide added privacy and shade from the sun for the bedrooms and family lounge.
A key feature of the owner’s brief, being a respiratory physician, was that their home would provide a place of respite and additionally ensure that the rest of the family was kept safe in the event of self-quarantine during the pandemic. This was achieved through the attic being designed as an autonomous space equipped with all the necessary facilities and ample natural ventilation, to promote physical and mental well-being while in quarantine. The resultant new family house has a strong relationship between its context, its external form, and the composition of its internal spaces.