This triangular home by vPPR architects proves that even the most awkward of plots can become a light-filled dwelling – and win awards along the way.
On the market via The Modern House for £1.295m, it’s one of a duo of radical wedge-shaped houses that make up Ott’s Yard in Tufnell Park. vPPR built the London properties in 2013 for two of their co-founders.
The houses’ unusual geometry is informed by the site: a triangular former joinery workshop. To create the RIBA award-winning homes, vPPR also had to wrestle with 23 party wall agreements and stringent planning restrictions which meant they couldn’t build up.
Rather than fight against the plot, they worked with it. ‘The triangular geometry of the site created the plans of the houses,’ says vPPR co-founder Tatiana von Preussen, whose home is currently for sale. ‘We subdivided the triangle into smaller triangles according to a pinwheel fractal geometry. It helped us to create courtyards and gardens so that although the houses are sunk below street level you never feel that when you are within the site.’
Each of the homes has a double-height kitchen and dining room, with two bedrooms tucked below a first-floor living space that leads onto a private garden via an exterior staircase. vPPR repeated the playful triangle motif throughout the properties at a variety of scales, including skylights, flooring, worktops and even tiling.
The dwellings’ bold geometry creates equally unusual living spaces. ‘The communicating doors between the bedrooms and the continuous circulation around the bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen have worked incredibly well with our family life,’ says von Preussen, who has a young baby. ‘I loved working upstairs with my desk against the huge glazed panel, looking out over quiet greenery. It’s so quiet and serene that you can forget that you are 15 minutes to central London.’
Landscape designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd created the living roofs for the properties, which act like their facades. The skylights fill the homes with light without compromising privacy.
Since designing Ott’s Yard, VPPR – helmed by von Preussen, Catherine Pease and Jessica Reynolds – have made a name for themselves as infill architecture specialists. In 2014 they created Vaulted House, a private home on a leftover scrap of industrial land in west London.