82 Swains Lane – Concrete, glass and a graveyard

The site of 85 Swains Lane in the north London village of Highgate has a history not without complexity. In 1982 the influential modernist architect John Winter designed a residence situated on the site next to Highgate Cemetery. Nearly three decades later it was clear that to restore the old Winter house it would need a complete reconstruction, which would compromise the potential for a new house on this unique site. In 2005 the building was demolished and replaced by a new residence, built on the footprint of the previous, designed by Eldridge Smerin Architects.

Glass is used carefully throughout the house. All service-and storage areas are situated on the two lower floors while the two upper floors are dedicated to living, eating and work spaces. The staircase is pushed into the north-east corner in the intersection of the two solid walls facing Swains Lane in east and neighbouring buildings in north. This arrangement of programmes made it possible for the architect to utilize the large glazed openings to let in daylight in key spaces, at the same time it allows passive solar gain to be maximised during the winter months.



Kitchen. There is a sliding glass roof over the kitchen bench letting in sun and opening up the space

Pictures from http://www.85swainslane.co.uk/venue-details.php

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