House in a Garden
Gianni Botsford
London, UK
An underground house surrounded by a garden and showing a unique roof structure designed to make the most of sunlight.

The firm Gianni Botsford Architects puts itself at the service of the user. In every project it tries to adapt to the context and culture of the place, proposing solutions to meet the needs of clients through details, leaving aside the ego to work side by side with them. In 2007 arose the idea of taking advantage of a Victorian-style urban block’s inner courtyard, then occupied by a 1960s bungalow. Studies of the impact of sunlight on its roof led to the ‘House in a Garden’ project, which would not be carried out until years later, when the plot was acquired by the client, who gave the studio the go-ahead. The starting point was a rigorous analysis of the site. Surrounded by buildings of more than five floors and facing north, the small plot has a lighting problem. The solution is a roof designed to maximize incoming daylight through a glass oculus on top. With a curved, copper-plated wooden structure, its oblique shape makes for optimal illumination of the interior space and the garden around, besides ensuring that views of the adjacent buildings are not blocked. Under a ground-level floor, two basement levels complete the domestic program, making the most of the lighting conditions, and rest on two inner courtyards. The house’s atypical configuration strikes a contrast with traditional London constructions, decongesting the block’s interior space and showing a peaceful ground level that acts like a roof terrace.

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