By Surman Weston
Client Private client
Award RIBA London Award 2022 and RIBA National Award 2022 (sponsored by Forterra)
Surbiton Springs is a new-build, two-storey detached house on a suburban street in Surbiton. The client’s brief was for a contemporary two-bedroomed home with an industrial aesthetic, but not simply a minimalist open plan box.
Their priority was to create a home with a sense of openness, with generous, flowing living spaces that were able to be subdivided or left open as desired.
The house successfully blends vernacular mock-Tudor and industrial aesthetics into a unique and appropriate hybrid. With its traditional A-frame elevation the house borrows the language of the suburban mock-Tudor, ubiquitous to its locality, and turns it on its head by expressing it in a steel frame – the materiality of modernity. Unusually, the structure is designed to be exoskeletal, expressing the pitched form diagrammatically, as if it were drawn by a child.
The frame is combined with slurried brick infill panels, another nod to mock-Tudor building techniques. The garden elevation, Crittall-style glazing, meanwhile, offers a contemporary twist on the leaded windows synonymous with the mock-Tudor style, combined with the freshness of a Palm Springs summer house. The whiteness of the exterior continues a long tradition of modern white villas and civic buildings in the area dating back to the 1930s.
The deep, angled threshold to the front door leads directly through to the triple-height entrance hall. This voluminous entrance hall acts as a further threshold – a sort of internal courtyard – with deliberately raw materials. Passing from the hallway into the living room,
Internal area: 264.00 m²
Contractor: Wadey Builders
Structural Engineers: Structure Workshop
Environmental / M&E Engineers Synergy
Ecology Consultants Astute Ecology
Approved Inspector MLM group