Working with Practice Architecture, designing and making a self-build house and textile studio in South East London. 

Street View © Practice Architecture

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The self-build project, a three storey building made from a timber structure and hempcrete infill, was designed through a collaborative process of discussions between a team of architects, artists, high-riggers, the clients (a textile designer and a photographer) and  structural engineers. It was designed to be robust and built by unskilled labour, to be sustainable by way of low-embodied carbon and to be low-tech. 

My role included detail design, making 1:1 tests on site, researching materials, managing parts of the build, making construction drawings and building hemp walls with the rest of the building team.

Now that the structural design and build has come to an end I have continued to work on some elements of the building alone. These have included doors, balconies, a staircase and handrails. They are another layer of design that responds to the existing ideas from Practice Architecture. 

Timber Structure Under Construction © Practice Architecture

Ground Floor Studio under construction © Practice Architecture

Under construction © Practice Architecture

Hempwall  © Practice Architecture

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Made from douglas fir timber, hempcrete and cement board, there was an emphasis on designing for an ease of construction and expression of the structural and material strategy. A limited pallet was used to create a sequence of varied spaces within the building. 

Walk on skylight in use

Fist floor courtyard © Practice Architecture

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The build was realised with a constrained budget and site. Working with these limits, a question that lead design was how to create both generous and intimate spaces with reduced materiality for both specific  and unknown use.

Long Construction Section

Tower bathroom hempwall © Practice Architecture

Detail construction section for balcony

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Fibreglass, galvanised steel and stainless steel cable balcony 

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Working closely with the client I designed a system for a balcony at the front of the building and an external staircase to connect the two upper level courtyards. The design had to be able to be bolted onto the existing timber structure and had to be as light weight as possible. The lightness was to be expressed visually as well as physically as another layer of the design. 

The additional pallet included GRP structural sections, GRP grating, galvanised steel section, and 3mm stainless steel cable. Both the balcony and the staircase are part of the same language. 

Porch and bathroom tower

Self-build Timber House & Studio