Leaf House

Leaf House


Architect: James Gorst Architects

Client: Confidential

Photographer: Helene Binet

This is a thoughtful 21st-century re-interpretation of the Georgian townhouse and provides an extremely comfortable and elegant large family home in a very London street – squeezed as it is between typical 1890s and 1960s accommodation. The hierarchy of rooms throughout the house are tailored to meet the needs of a family with two growing children, as well as two parents who both work from home.

Visitors enter a double height hall with the stair to one side and a long generous corridor ahead. This leads through to a living room that sits in the garden like a pavilion. At ground level there are two further living spaces, a large family kitchen at the centre and a more intimate family living space to the front with spaces for the children to do their homework.

Below in the basement there is a further large family room with direct access to a courtyard that connects up to the garden above. The ‘serious’ office-cum library is also at this below-ground level, but generously lit by light slots. Another, more ‘inspirational’ study is in a leaf motif glazed pavilion on the roof. An array of bedrooms with bathrooms occupy the first and second floors.

Overall there is a simplicity, but always with a richness where required, and always well-judged in its detail. House builders can learn from such bespoke projects: the effective acoustic separation of the spaces; the slender LED lighting on the leading edges of the bookcases; the detailing of the steel and walnut handrails on the stairs; the ways doors fold back into the walls; but above all in the plan: the way the spaces interconnect like a Rubik’s Cube. All house-buyers deserve such care and attention but seldom get it.

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