A discreet dwelling by Coffey Architects is screened from the public gaze but enjoys abundant light and views
Faced with a constrained and historically sensitive site in central London, Coffey Architects has created a discreet family house that is largely screened from sight while enjoying abundant natural light and views out.
Hidden House sits on the site of a former caretaker’s shed, above the listed vaults of the former Clerkenwell House of Detention, and sandwiched between the listed perimeter walls of a large neighbouring building, Kingsway Place – whose garden the new dwelling shares.
The 72-square-metre, two-bedroom, single-storey family house is faced with reclaimed brick that is intended to allow it to blend with its historic surroundings. Inside, the walls are lined in oak panelling that also forms built-in storage. Above, a “floating, transparent, punched roof” introduces additional daylight though angular rooflights. Full-height sliding windows and doors open the house to the shared garden and a private patio.
“Hidden House is a series of internal spaces constrained in plan by a listed perimeter garden curtilage and held in section by a series of floating ocular rooflights”, says practice director Phil Coffey. “Residents enjoy the light-filled void space in between these elements, a space heightened in tension by the seemingly effortless roof structure which is concentrated to a point floating above the main living space, defining zones within for use. This special place is hidden, part building, part garden, mostly sky. It’s difficult to find, but well worth the effort.”