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Paxton Architecture House in Middle Park

House in Middle Park

This project came about as the renovation of two terrace houses that sat side by side. They were to remain separate houses and share a backyard, and there was specific instruction not to add a second level. The problem to solve on this occasion was that the living spaces faced south-southwest, meaning getting light in was difficult. We presented a unique solution where the roof was split in three. We used the outer boundary wall of both houses as the hinging point for the roof to pivot on. This division of the roof allowed three roof segments to pitch in five-degree intervals from low to high, creating a triangular gap between roof planes that allowed light to enter. Along the outer edge, the roof line remained constant, as did the ceilings inside. This break in roof form resulted in a wonderful dance of direct slivers of light through the different seasons. At certain times of the year, shards of light fall across the inner walls and highlight the connection of form to function as the living areas are lit up.

The functional brief of the design was to add more space to the living areas and reconfigure the original Edwardian layout. We added an ensuite in the front rooms by cutting into the dormant chimney space and using it as a new but small ensuite space. Further down the length of the house, we added a light-filled bathroom that drew light from an existing lightwell. Finally, where the bathroom stepped out past, a high-level window was added to the bathroom to allow natural light to enter and illuminate the space again.

Paxton Architecture House in Middle Park

Part of the project's success lies in the subtle asymmetry of the broken roof forms. The roof plan on this page shows that the break line was not perpendicular to the boundary wall but aligned to true north. This slight offset of form means that the breaks for both roofs are different in plan but the same in section. Because of this subtle difference, the houses have a subtly different play on light throughout the year.

Paxton Architecture House in Middle Park
Paxton Architecture House in Middle Park
Paxton Architecture House in Middle Park
Paxton Architecture House in Middle Park
Paxton Architecture House in Middle Park
Paxton Architecture House in Middle Park
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