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Garden House

Hayhurst and Co.

Project Name

Garden House


1,097 sq. feet


  • General Contractor: Woodbar
  • Structural Engineer: Techniker
  • Other: Arun Associates

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This project is on the longlist for the RIBA 2016 House of the Year Award.

Project Description


The house is entered through a winter garden flooded with top-light from a mirror-polished stainless steel clad rooflight. This leads on to a connected set of living spaces lit by natural light through strategically placed and sculptured rooflights. These give the ground floor an ethereal quality of light, which sets off the careful selected material palette. The clients’ art collection is displayed on bespoke steel shelves that continue on to a folded steel staircase that is carefully disengaged from the wall, to allow natural light to pass behind it. The upper room is lined with oak panelling, forming a workshop for sewing and embroidery, as well as a fitting room for visiting clients. This space is naturally lit from a large central rooflight.

The roof is a bespoke hanging garden, formed by refined, lapped, and elegant stainless steel trays hung over a GRP membrane. Eight-hundred sedums and heathers are planted into the stepped beds. They replicate the character of the planting and fauna of Dungeness where the owners also have a second home. Neighbours must be delighted with their views down onto this unusual stepped roof garden.

The Jury was captivated with the exquisite detailing that went into this house. The architects have skilfully created a rich and layered experience in a very small space. It gives the owners a peaceful and private space to live and work, which is a real achievement given the overlooked and enclosed nature of the site.
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