|Location: Hackney, London|
|Completion Status: Completed April 2013||Occupancy: Occupied since February 2015|
|Architect: Tectonics Architects Ltd||Consultant: Accredited Passivhaus Design, WARM low energy building practiice|
|Contractor:||Client: Bernard Tulkens|
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Built on an urban infill site in a Conservation Area in East London, this 2-bedroom 2-storey house is the first Certified Passivhaus in Hackney.
Tectonics architectural approach aimed to respond to the context in terms of volume, and to create a building with the generic simplicity, flexibility, light and character found in industrial or studio spaces.
Set half a level down from the street, the house appears as a low zinc-clad chamfered volume, behind a garden wall. A large open plan ‘Upper Ground floor’ forms the living area, with generous windows to the west and distant views across urban gardens. The entrance, bedrooms and bathrooms occupy the lower level.
Sensitive in terms of context, the site was also challenging in terms of environmental design as it is situated immediately to the North of a 4-storey Victorian terrace, and does not benefit from direct sun from the South.
The structure was prefabricated in Cross Laminated Timber, erected in 2 days - floors, walls and roof-, and insulated with wood fibre insulation, a key innovation of the project.
Internally, the structural materials and their assembly are left exposed: from concrete or timber to galvanised conduits and ducts. This provides a rich sense of materiality to the interior spaces.
There was no ‘client’ as such at the start of the project: the architect owned the site, and applied for permission to build a new house. It was developed into a Passivhaus after Planning was obtained, and, during construction, the parents-in-law of the architect decided to relocate from a period house in Kent to this modern building in London. The house now combines not only natural light and comfort with sustainability, but also exposed modern construction with antique furniture.