Anya & Robin
With an opportunity to create a bespoke home in Highgate, an incredible journey begins.
A home with a subterranean secret
Anya, Robin and their three young sons Mark, Elliot and baby Daniel are embarking on an incredible journey with us. Having grown out of their 1960s pebble-dashed chalet bungalow they have opted to build a brand new 475m2 contemporary home in exactly the same location that they love so much. With wonderful views over fields to the front and only a short walk to Highgate Village and local schools, the family wanted to stay just where they are yet live in a more sustainable and light-filled house.
Its hidden secret is an underground swimming pool to reflect the family’s love of staying in hotels on their travels and they wanted to maintain a holiday feel to their new home. Lots of light-filled open plan living space to share with family and friends was on the agenda which had to be balanced by tranquil bedrooms on the upper floors to give them an equal share of peace and quiet.
We worked with Anya and Robin finding out what was important to them and their children. They originally wanted a home built with a period exterior but our planning consultants advised that this wouldn’t be in keeping with the immediate area so we discussed other possibilities and our architects came up with a stunning contemporary design.
The house will be super insulated and air tight making the most of solar gain to heat the house during the winter months, supplemented by a Mechanical Heat Recovery System. In the summer, the open plan spaces will be cross ventilated by large opening windows connected into ventilation stacks running up through the building. The window openings on both sides of the building will provide excellent ambient light levels throughout the year reducing the need for artificial light and therefore reducing energy demand.
We would have had to pay a huge Stamp Duty bill if we had moved locally. New build properties are also exempt from VAT so we’ve made another saving there compared to refurbishing our existing home and we will end up with a much bigger light filled and far more energy efficient home.Anya
The design of this new home for Anya and Robin draws on the local Edwardian and Victorian vernacular of the surrounding conservation area. Combining traditional details with a contemporary palette of materials has made the house distinctly modern yet sensitive to the context in which it is set.George, Director of Architecture