Venus is a London townhouse with Japanese roots – the Highbury home was inspired by the traditional machiya or merchant’s houses found across Kyoto.
The one-bedroom home was built in 1998 and is the first residential project completed by practice Chance de Silva. It features a reserved brick-level facade that seems to blend in with the adjacent garden wall, but its upper storeys open up to maximise space.
Explains the practice: ‘Venus addresses the street in a similar way to the machiya, the traditional Kyoto city-houses, being very private and defensive at street level but opening up at higher levels to let in light and permit views.’
Patinated copper roofing and cladding blend in with the foliage of the surrounding trees, while windows put a modern spin on mushiko mado glazing in Japan.
Twenty years on from its complete, the London property is for sale via The Modern House for $895,000 and feels as contemporary now as it did then.
Inside woodwork pays homage to the lattice frames found in Kyoto townhouses, while exposed recycled London brick stock grounds it in its North London local. Elsewhere, glass bricks diffuse light across the interiors, and an open tread steel staircase rises into the mezzanine level beneath the sweeping arch of the ceiling.