Your browser does not support SVG

Reed Watts

Reed Watts Architects, London

Yakisugi House

With their children growing up fast and the house seeming to shrink at an alarming rate, the owners of this house in Hampton Hill urgently needed to create new space in an economical manner. Eschewing the convention for large open plan rooms at the rear of the house, the new works provide smaller spaces which support very specific functions. A dining space, a small studio in which to relax and work, a series of connected sheds for DIY, potting plants and storage.

The living room and kitchen were refurbished whilst a new dining space was created by adding a ‘lean to’ onto the existing wall of the kitchen and breaking through with a new door. This simple move significantly simplified the build and reduced the cost of construction. The tall roof incorporates clerestory windows to admit natural light deep into the plan.

At the other end of the garden a series of sheds have been constructed around the Weeping Cypress tree and a Yew tree to the rear of the site.

The majority of the construction is from timber, exposed in areas such as the dining room roof and the linings of the sheds. The cladding is square edged larch planks, charred on their leading face. The charring, known as yakisugi, is deliberately light to allow the natural grain and warmth of the wood to reveal itself as the building ages.

The blackened tone of the cladding complements the greenery of the garden and creates an unusual oasis in the row of terraced houses.

Photographs: Ben Tynegate and Reed Watts Architects