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Robert Dye Architects build a ‘folded’ house in London

Robert Dye Architects took a cue from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water house for this Hampstead home, creating a series of spaces that zig-zag up a hill.

Aptly named Uphill House, the building replaces a 1970s structure, filling the same envelope. By folding the house into a series of split-level floors that follow the slope of the site, the architects were able to significantly increase the floor space.

The building’s unusual facade is in conversation with its surroundings. ‘Golders Green and Hampstead are heavily influenced by the 1930s Arts and Crafts Movement, with its use of render, brick and wood,’ says lead architect, Jason Coleman. ‘We started playing games and forming a dialogue with these suburban forms around us.’

The building’s rock-like base is rendered masonry and concrete, while the upper floors of the three-bedroom home are much lighter, built of timber and clad in kiln-burnt larch – the first time it has been used residentially as a building material in the UK, according to the architects. Green roofs top the building, which comes equipped with rain-water harvesting and a full heat-recovery system.

Robert Dye Architects have continued the dialogue between materials inside the house, where polished concrete floors and large windowpanes combine with open-plan spaces to give the lower floors an almost gallery-like feel.

The gallery like space of the family dining room
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‘Our clients wanted to be able to communicate with each other across the house, without feeling on top of each other,’ says Coleman. ‘As a result, the large family spaces – the music room, kitchen, play, dining and living rooms – are all open plan, but with corners and pockets to create chances for separation.’

A central void running from the house’s top to bottom connects these individual spaces, dissected by a timber staircase.

Robert Dye Architects

Based: London
Established: 1990
Key projects: Mew House, Primrose Hill
Recycled House, NW5
Madeleine Terrace, SE5



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