Sheen Common

  • Project Type: Residential
  • Client: Private
  • Status: Planning
  • Location: Richmond

A new Arts and Crafts inspired house in a conservation area.

We designed the street frontage of the new house to be slightly smaller than the existing building on site, it is also centrally located to reduce the stepping effect and to maintain gaps between the buildings to stop the terracing effect. The central main stair to the house is expressed on the façade of the house. This is a common motif and design feature used in great domestic architecture of the late 19th and early 20th century. Blackwell by Baillie Scott and the Red House by Philip Webb utilises this device. The arts and crafts style values architectural integrity, the plan is reflected on the design of the exterior of the house.

The construction is ‘honest’, a stylistic principle that was valued in both the arts and crafts movement and in modernism that subsequently followed. The asymmetrical plan reflects how the house and internal spaces are used and this is then expressed on the façade of the building, which is very much in keeping with the arts and crafts tradition. The design of the new house on Sheen Common Drive has far more architectural integrity that the building it seeks to replace. It builds on the architectural history that has informed the development of the estate. It utilises themes and references the great domestic architecture of the late 19th and early 20th century and creates a 21st century response that enhances the conservation area as a whole.

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