Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects
Connaught House Developments
London Borough of Haringey
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Graham Pye Award for the Perfect Home Plan Graham Pye (1939-2009) chaired the Housing Design Awards for 14 years. He always directed the judges to consider the plan form, pointing out that a strong plan would prove to be the abiding quality in any winning design. His focus has long been reflected in how the Awards publish detailed plans of winners. The Graham Pye Award honours his conviction and his superb contribution to the industry.
The plan climbs past a ground floor living space with picture windows to exploit views to two more storeys of bedrooms, two per floor with bathroom and shower between. Windows to the second storey are the most constricted by the overlooking issue. But the design manages this by notching an outdoor terrace between the roof pitches which drop down a couple of metres short of the ridge. The resulting gap becomes a private space which is big enough for a table and chairs, planters and even sun loungers. The attic bedrooms either side have a window to the terrace which compensates for the restrictions to their principal windows. A fully glazed lantern, accessible for cleaning, also traps light for the north-facing bedroom. These attic bedrooms have proved popular with children who appreciate the low level glazing when they play on the floor.
The 4-storey block sitting on the top edge of the site, could have looked imposing from the north and east. But protected trees become a screen while the block’s bulk is mitigated with a change of facing materials. The modern white render and black fenestration of the roadside elevation is replaced with a butt cedar shingle which is laid irregularly to resemble the bark of a tree, presenting these as sylvan family homes.
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