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Living walls


Living walls

The landscape was an integral element to the overall design and concept for this project.
The full project photography and text is available at. Oblong House and Tex-Tonic House 1 and Tex-tonic 2
An extract of the full text relating to the landscape element of this project, reviewed [By Catherine Slessor*]:

Tex-Tonic House 1&2:

The client is passionate about gardening and vegetation.Therefore we designed a 21 metre long vertical living wall: a self-contained and irrigated planting system incorporating ‘acid yellow’, green and white planting scheme. The long horizontal curtain walling maximises the perception of spacial continuity between the interior and the exterior so that the external roof garden becomes a vital ingredient of the internal living space.

Oblong House:

Physically, floors are united by a 16m high section of a tree, which extends the full height of the house, set vertically in a new glass lift shaft and visible from the glass lift car. Light illuminates the striations and textures of this arboreal relic, so that it appears to be organically rooted within the building. The tree itself took time to find, as it was important, from a perspective of ecological responsibility, to source a specimen that was already fallen. Continuing the theme of nature, a planted green wall reflects the horizontal rhythm of the architecture with even bands of vegetation animating an otherwise unusable area of wall.

 

 

Suspended shade


Suspended shade

The landscape was an integral element to the overall design and concept for this project.
The full project photography and text is available at Haptic House
An extract of the full text relating to the landscape element of this project, reviewed by Catherine Slessor:

The transition from inside to outside is defined and expressed through different manifestations of stone. Individual York stones are inset into a specially mixed terrazzo which forms the floor of the living space. This ‘stepping stone’ path flows out into the garden, extending up a cantilevered staircase crafted from solid stone, designed to emphasise its monolithic quality. Looping around the garden, the meandering trajectory is marked by reclaimed sleepers made from Azobe hardwood. Its focal point is the Suspended Shade, a dramatically cantilevered timber structure which functions as a discrete pavilion for contemplation and entertaining.

[By Catherine Slessor*]

Secret Garden



Secret Garden

For this landscape project for a house in St John’s Wood, the brief was to create an entirely separate enclave within the confines of an existing back garden. Paul McAneary Architects subtle and inventive use of planting creates architectural layers and depth to engender a sense of seclusion and tranquility that tactfully blocks out the distracting urban milieu.

An evergreen screen of planting heralds the entrance to the garden and also conceals it from view. A winding path leads to a sunken seating area formed from rough, chisel-faced sandstone. As you descend to the lower level, you become fully submerged within within a luxuriant bower and the house and its wider surroundings disappear.

The trajectory is delineated by a narrow winding path made from reclaimed railway sleepers. Laid in an offset yet orthogonal pattern, the sleepers impart a calm, ordering spirit typical of traditional Japanese Zen gardens. Ground covering of Soleirolia (baby’s tears) and Dicranoweisia cirrata (moss) flourish between the timbers. Their jewel-like, bright green tones form an animated carpet of vegetation spreading out over the ground in unexpected configurations.

At every turn, planting beds are visible from ground to eye level. Forming an immersive, green space, these layers of planting are synonymous with an English country garden. Rosy purple Verbena bonariensis and Fragaria vesca (alpine strawberries) line the edges of paths, while Stipa tenuissima (fronded grass) provides texture and movement behind. Rising high above eye level, larger shrubs and trees such as Prunis Iusitanica and Philadelphus ‘Virginal’ form the central structure of the beds, demarcating different parts of the garden. The intermediate level is alive with vibrant colours and textures. Pink Fuschia riccartonii and purple Allium giganteum add contrast and provide food for insects to flourish.

A solid, rough-faced bench acts as a focal point along the path. Employing just four elements, its minimal design complements the architectural language of the garden. At night the landscape is transformed by subtle, integrated lighting. Uplighters follow the path casting a gentle glow on the undersides of leaves and stems. Highlighting plants from new angles creates an intriguing interplay of textures and shadows, while separate lights illuminate the surrounding edges of the garden. Framing and highlighting the inner layer of planting in this way focuses attention on the heart of the garden evoking a sense of intimacy and seclusion.

The unpredictable nature of working with living, growing materials provided new challenges for Paul McAneary Architects. Over time, Secret Garden will evolve, changing in form and composition, yet remaining an oasis of calm, providing therapeutic respite from the hectic nature of urban life. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value Private
Location St Johns Wood, London
Client Private
Date 2011
Area 57m²
Design TeamPaul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design through to end of construction,landscape design
Supplier The London Gardening Company

Garden Room House



Garden Room
House

Garden Room House shows how a Victorian family house can be imaginatively transformed by adding a single glass room to the existing dwelling. This simple move reconceptualises the garden as a transformable indoor/outdoor room and frees up the footprint of the house, enhancing the effect of natural light and maximising storage.

Previously, the client had struggled to gain planning permission for a small side extension and approached Paul McAneary Architects to propose an alternative. Paul McAneary Architects devised a design that effectively doubles the terraced house’s ground floor footprint and creates a garden room in its truest sense.

The rear of the house was formerly occupied by a dilapidated garage. This was demolished and the resulting awkward, underused space replaced by a single storey extension connected to the kitchen by a glass walkway. A central courtyard is created, defined on three sides by the living space and a set of fully retractable glass doors, cunningly engineered so that the corners are free of supports. When the doors are open, garden and ground floor meld into a seamless and senuous inside/outside realm. The garden becomes not simply an extension of the kitchen, living and play room, but a continually colonised connection between these spaces.

The original decking, which became dangerously slippery when wet, was replaced with grass and integrated drainage, extending the life of the garden through different climates and seasons. Blurring the distinction between inside and out, garden and house are on the same continuous level, so that space flows fluidly between between the two.

A curved ceiling extends along the length of the house, finessing the junction with a 19m long storage wall, the largest Paul McAneary Architects have created to date. Concealed LED lighting animates the repetitive geometry of the storage wall, while a recessed bench and two shelving units provide functional focal points. White oiled oak flooring, deliberately skip sawn to achieve a rougher texture, adds warmth to the interior.

From concept to detail, the remodelling aims to open up and enhance the living space creating a practical and civilised armature for family life. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value £ 340k
Location Waltham Forest, London
Client Private
Date 2014 – 2015
Area 117m²
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design through to end of construction, interior design, lighting design, glazing design, furniture design, survey,building control, 3D visualisation
Main Contractor John McEvilly, MC Construction, www.mcconstructionuk.com
Supplier Plank Co, Easigrass Ltd, IQ Glass
Press 2016 The £100k house: Tricks of the Trade, BBC 2

Hovering House


Hovering House

In refurbishing and extending a Victorian terraced house in Notting Hill, this project explores a language of Minimalism that nonetheless respects and incorporates the existing Victorian architecture. In doing so it transforms a dark, dated and compartmentalised dwelling into a light and airy contemporary space.

The bold design strategically removes existing walls to create the largest possible lateral space. The corner of the house now appears to hover above the kitchen, its crisp white ceiling framed by the exposed edge of original London stock bricks. Chunky zinc beams support a glass roofed side extension that slides seamlessly into the weathered brick facade. Because of the differential movements of two contrasting materials and the challenge of watertightness, this immaculately choreographed meeting of delicate glass and robust masonry was an especially challenging detail. However, it has now become a signature Paul McAneary Architects feature, implemented across many other projects.

Large aluminium-framed glass doors open up to the garden, extending the kitchen space into an external raised seating area. Paving creates spatial and visual continuity between inside and out. The kitchen ceiling plan folds around a full width glass skylight, creating subtle plays of light and graduated shadows that animate the interior. White oiled oak and reconstituted stone constitute a finely judged neutral palette. A bespoke storage wall provides an eminently practical solution to the demands of modern domestic life. Doors fold out to reveal a back painted glass section, equipped with plugs for appliances and cutlery.

Throughout, clutter is subsumed and rationalised in an elegantly minimalist yet functional interior. The original staircase was retained, creating a looping floor plan. Clad in oak, with shadow gaps defining the treads and non-scruff white rubber on the risers, the stair is effectively repurposed through the clever use of materials. Maintaining separate living spaces for the different needs of the client, this organisational arrangement is both fluid and efficient, ingeniously optimising and transforming space in a way that epitomises Paul McAneary Architects architectural philosophy. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value £180k
Location Notting Hill, London
Client Private
Date From – 2010
Area 202m²
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design through to end of construction, lighting design, glazing design, furniture design, survey,building control, 3D visualisation
Supplier Aston-Matthews, Direct Stone, Zinc, Vola
Press 2011 Marcelo Seferin, ‘Architect Day: Paul McAneary Architects’, Abuzeedo, 13 September 2011
Awards 2014 UK Property Awards, Highly Commended for Best Architecture Single Residence London, UK

Haptic House


Haptic House

Haptic House is a renovation of a Grade II-listed Victorian dwelling in Hampstead to meet the changing needs of a young family. With its concern for simple, natural materials intended to age gracefully over time, the project is underscored by the concept of wabi-sabi, a Japanese aesthetic code which stresses the beauty of imperfection and transience.

The original house was an unmodernised, four storey semi-detached villa in a Conservation Area. The project focused on extending the rear of the building and remodelling its various floors, with only minimal changes to the historic frontage. Inverting the conventional relationship of living and sleeping spaces, the ground floor is converted into a master bedroom and the lower ground level transformed into a fluid, open-plan living, dining and kitchen space in direct contact with the garden. The topmost storey is remodelled to create a pair of identical home offices, with back-to-back children’s bedrooms on the first floor.

Reinforcing the connection between daily life and the presence of nature, the lower ground floor is excavated by half a metre so the garden is at eye level. A crisply detailed frameless glass extension augments the living space, enhancing light penetration and garden views. Glass is employed structurally, as columns and beams, while motorised aerofoil louvres made of cedar protect the delicately diaphanous butterfly roof from glare. A central gutter channels rainwater off the glass extension on to a ‘staining wall’. Sluiced by rust-impregnated rainwater interacting with tadelakt, a traditional, lime-based Moroccan plaster, the appearance of the wall will evolve over time.

The transition from inside to outside is defined and expressed through different manifestations of stone. Individual York stones are inset into a specially mixed terrazzo which forms the floor of the living space. This ‘stepping stone’ path flows out into the garden, extending up a cantilevered staircase crafted from solid stone, designed to emphasise its monolithic quality. Looping around the garden, the meandering trajectory is marked by reclaimed sleepers made from Azobe hardwood. Its focal point is the Suspended Shade, a dramatically cantilevered timber structure which functions as a discrete pavilion for contemplation and entertaining.

Ground and lower ground floors are linked by an immaculately detailed timber staircase featuring a wafer thin balustrade of laminated glass capped by a slim bronze handrail. This forensic yet poetic attention to detail extends to every aspect of the remodelling. For instance, the book-matched oak veneered doors enclosing the long storage wall in the main living space were exceptionally complex to produce, making intense demands on the craft skills of specialist joiners. Equally, the Spathroom on the first floor is a tour-de-force of highly considered detailing and fabrication. Inspired by Japanese bathing rituals, the outcome is a sumptuously sensual bathroom lined with teak and slate to create an intimate, womb-like enclave for washing and relaxing.

As the clients work from home, the upper storey is brought into play to provide two identical offices. In a twist worthy of an espionage novel, small secret rooms are inserted behind twin libraries, controlled by electromagnetic locks that can be concealed in the spine of a book.

Rigorous emphasis was placed on the selection of materials and how they are put together and experienced. Natural materials, such as York stone, oak, teak and slate were chosen as they have an inherently warm, haptic quality that responds to touch. A bespoke blackened, unpolished patina resembling dark bronze was applied to all ironmongery and metal fittings. Silky smooth clay plaster and rough exposed brickwork add further textural and visual richness. Embodying a crucial tenet of wabi-sabi, materials are intended to be subtly transmuted by the passage of time, weathering beautifully through use and the slow patina of age. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value £1.6m
Location Hampstead, London
Client Private
Date 2011-2015
Area 474m²
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design through to end of construction, material creation, lighting design, glazing design, landscape design, planning
Consultants Gareth Atkinson, William Dick TBC
Main Contractor Symm
Sub Contractor Simon Heslop, Paul Davies, William Garvey
Supplier Lazenby, tadelakt, Delta Light
Press 2018 ‘Paul McAneary Architects’ dlist Verified
Awards 2017 Designer K&B Awards – Won Bathroom Design of the Year (over £15k) with Spathroom 2016 The UK Property Awards – Highly Commended for Best Architecture Single Residence London 2015 The Wood Awards – Finalist for Interior Design of the Year with Spathroom