House Within A House - EH Smith

House Within A House


alma-nac has completed a new self-build family home in South East London. In a city where land is scarce House-within-a-House offered a solution for densifying low-rise residential plots on the fringes of the city. By extending the accommodation it allows the house owners – a family of seven – to stay in the neighbourhood.

The resulting six-bedroom house utilises the existing structure, while reinstating the rhythm of the Victorian terrace in this sensitive conservation area. On the upper floor the master bedroom rises over four metres to the apex of the roof, with a line of clerestory roof windows. A timber-clad en-suite bathroom and shower cabin projects into the bedroom space with a pop of Klein Blue. These moments of colour contrast playfully with the otherwise muted interior palette of white oak flooring, white painted walls and whitewashed timber roof.

As well as providing an economical and sustainable solution to create a thermally-efficient home, the response resolves the problem of the incongruous and uninspiring 1950s house breaking up the pattern of the street. The asymmetrical form of the new house draws references from the neighbouring terrace to which it was once attached, offering a contemporary addition that is sympathetic to its historic setting; its warm grey brick complements the neighbourhood’s buff London stock brick, without trying to mimic the naturally aged material.

Location: London

Architect: alma-nac

Contractors: David Stewart Building Contractor

Products used on this case study