Our clients had a dream: to live on the banks of the River Thames in one of London’s most iconic contemporary houses.
Our brief was to make this dream a reality, by demolishing an existing drab 1970s property on a rare and beautiful site in Strawberry Vale, and build in its place a highly contemporary family home with uninterrupted river views. The house was to be designed to sit effortlessly within its site whilst achieving distinctive and iconic status.
There were a number of challenges along the way. First and foremost the site sits within Metropolitan Open Land as well as fronting the River Thames, both of which make it highly protected and subject to very strict planning laws.
Richmond has a deep-rooted heritage and a strong leaning towards period and listed properties. Any new build is closely scrutinised with demolition of existing properties extremely hard to achieve.
Sitting so close to the banks of the river, the site includes large flood defences which naturally need to be incorporated into the overall design. Furthermore the area is of significant ecological importance and home to a number of protected species and wildlife. Dyer Grimes would need to work diligently to ensure these were protected and enhanced.
Dyer Grimes is seeking permission to demolish an existing cottage, garage and boathouse – in itself a major planning coup. Through skilful design, the footprint of the new house is nearly half the size of existing buildings, allowing for additional green spaces, planting, and greater sensitivity between the property and the land around it.
The new house, whilst technically intricate in its design, achieves a vision of utter simplicity and elegance combining clean crisp lines, white render, hardwood cladding and vast expanses of glass.
The house itself compliments the natural habitat in which it sits, with the timber detailing complementing mature trees and glass walls which reflect the river beyond. The result is a beautiful structure which seems to disappear into its natural surroundings.
The simplicity and beauty of the building also greatly enhances views from Ham river walkway across the river.
Particular attention has been given to sustainability in the build and ongoing maintenance of the house. In addition to the reduction in ‘hard standing’ on the site by 274m2, a number of sustainable features will be included in the design. These include a large and discreet solar PV array on the flat roof of the house, supplying clean renewable energy year round.