The site for these 28 rooms has two opposing characteristics. The approach from Wordsworth Grove to the north is a cul-de-sac of mixed residential buildings and from the south are the playing fields of Summerfield. In response to these conditions the project can be understood in two senses - on the one hand from Wordsworth Grove it is seen as a large semi-detached house (consistent with early Edwardian semi-detached houses in the street) with two entrance courts set behind an 8' 0" high garden wall and mature trees. On the other hand facing Summerfield the building transforms into the image of a single villa set in its own Arcadian landscape, with its terrace, balcony and loggia as grandstand to the sporting life beyond.
The plan is a simple arrangement of two houses sharing a party wall, 4 storeys high with two flats and one maisonette to each. Both houses have their own 'front' staircase accessed from an entrance court and then combined by a third common 'back' stair linking all the kitchens to the shared south facing courtyard. Two further connections give unity to the whole; at the fourth floor the two houses combine to share the loggia overlooking Summerfield and at basement level the two entrance stairs are connected by a crypto porticus to share the laundry and trunk store.
The relationship between the form of the building and its sub-division has resulted in much variety in the character and orientation of the study bedrooms. In the attic there are 'crows nest' rooms, double height and panoramic rooms under the long inclined roof and introspective rooms overlooking private gardens to the side and so on. The stepped plan avoids overlooking neighbouring properties and gives the majority of the study bedrooms south orientation and a view of Summerfield. In contrast to the variety of plans and volumes of the study bedrooms the built in furniture follows a consistent pattern with local modifications - white lacquered fixed desks, wardrobes and bookshelves with adjustable shelves. The loose furniture is a collection of modern classics Alvar Aalto stools, Bentwood desk chairs, Lloyd Loom easy chairs and Best & Lloyd 5 desk and bed lamps.
The elevation to Wordsworth Grove and the two side garden elevations are brick. The courtyard elevation to Summerfield is white, stucco with steel 'french doors' and balcony. This elevation is topped by the loggia and two steel framed lanterns to the staircases. The back wall to the loggia is stuccoed and painted blue. On fine days the blue dematerialises the wall with the supporting columns standing free against a summer sky. At night the illuminated staircase lanterns acting as beacons in the landscape.
|PRACTICE||JEREMY DIXON||EDWARD JONES||PROJECTS|