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6
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GTM+8 HZ CN
PRIMROSE HILL SOLAR HOUSE
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Solar House - The premise that small is beautiful has served as a paradigm for sustainable urban development and domestic dwelling for decades and can be traced back to the early modernists’ focus on the Existenzminimum2, in search of the most ergonomic and frugal housing unit. But while these models were all subscribed to the idea of “enoughness”, the London Townhouse is based on a very different premise: The aim was to create maximum complexity and ”richness”, a 4-dimensional space that engages the user in an intricate interplay of movement, perspectival shifts, and materialities, all the while providing an optimized, highly sustainable environment – a “machine for living”, revisited for our age of Synthetic Natures and systems thinking.

We maintained the solid masonry structure of the original 2-story building as the gravitational core of the building, forming a largely opaque boundary of the building, from which new extension and other building projections materialize. These new geometries translate between the adjacent townhouses to form a prefabricated multifaceted, folded zinc and glass envelope, thus creating at once continuity and a somewhat strange “otherness” within the existing context. The intersection of the densely packed program and the complex roof volume generated several uniquely formed apertures, terraces, and unexpected views of the surroundings, such as the pyramidal skylight in the kitchen, a glass slot in the living room exposing what used to be a narrow rear yard, or a fully glazed living room window revealing a panoramic view of an old-growth tree and the streetscape below. The zinc roof is lined with fully integrated solar PV panels that provide the building with baseline electricity sufficient to run heat pumps, hot water, and lighting, as well as a 13kW TESLA battery that also feeds an electric car.

Credits

Year: 2024
Location: Primrose Hill London, UK
Client: Private
Project Type: 3-Story Residence Extension
Size: 2,250 SF
Design Team: Archi-Tectonics, NYC LLC | Principal in Charge: Winka Dubbeldam | Design Team: Justin Korhammer, Santiago Herrera, Max Boerman, Wouter vander Heuvel, Mattia Gola,
Consultants: Architect of Record: Anthony Boulanger | AY Architects - London
Photography: Nick Kane
Structural Engineer: AKTII London
MEP: WSP London
General Contractor: Philiam
AA