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South London House

by Jonathan Pile Architect

Client Jonathan and Katherine Pile
Awards RIBA London Award 2019

© Gareth Gardner

This courtyard house offers a new typology for reusing complex and underutilised urban sites. It makes the most of the site and responds sensitively to the Grade I Listed St Paul’s Church through its scale and use of black-stained timber, which references earlier timber-clad houses prevalent in Deptford in the 17th and 18th Centuries. The timber sits modestly above the original brick wall that borders the site from the street.

The building’s layout capitalises on the irregularly shaped site through an ingenious arrangement of rectilinear spaces for the bedrooms and bathrooms. These are united by irregular living space arranged around a courtyard. Glazing from this space provides a point of reference as you move through the house, and maximises the stunning views beyond the brick wall to St Paul’s. The use of exposed timber, particularly in the top-lit living space, creates a warm, welcoming, unique family home.

The house establishes a successful relationship with its surrounding neighbours and maintains their privacy through the use of carefully located windows with deep reveals and oblique views; they are never directly overlooked. The architect has adeptly managed multiple party wall awards and the sewer running below the site to deliver a successful project.

South London House has quietly made a significant contribution to the urban quality in this area. Its clever layout and use of materials offer a blueprint for transforming similarly awkward urban sites. It is a wonderful family home which offers a calming retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Internal Area 149 m²

Contractor Fullers Builders

Structural Engineer Foster Structures

Environmental / M&E Engineer Enhabit

© Gareth Gardner
© Gareth Gardner
© Gareth Gardner
© Jonathan Pile
© Jonathan Pile
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