Architect: Ian McChesney
The Tree House
This spectacular house, located down a quiet lane overlooking woodland, was completed last year to designs by the architect Ian McChesney. Clad in opaque black glass, the façade of the four-bedroom house reflects, magnificently, the sky, trees and gardens that surround it.
The house is approached on foot down Redberry Grove. The landscaped garden features two mature and rare Turkey Oaks. Each of the hard-landscaping elements were designed by McChesney. A wide gravel path flanked by flower beds and lawn leads to generous steel and iroko steps up to the raised front door that opens onto an entrance hall. The main living room has wonderful high ceilings and full-height windows on three sides that allow views of the surrounding trees and let light flood into the building. All the windows in the property are iroko-framed and triple glazed. A Dik Guerts wood-burning stove forms the centre point of the room. Double sliding “pocket” doors permit the opening up of the kitchen, making an impressive entertaining space, helped by the fact that the dining area has direct access onto the large terrace with its pond. The kitchen has been superbly designed and finished to a high specification using Gaggenau appliances.
At the back of the property is secure, off-street parking accessed directly from Albion Villas Road. There is a second entrance to this northern side of the building providing flat pedestrian access; it has a hall and WC.
A wonderful “zig-zag” oak staircase, lit from above by frameless glass skylights and clerestory glazing, leads up to the first floor. The master bedroom overlooks the woodland, as do all the bedrooms, and has an en-suite bathroom. Three further double bedrooms, and a family bathroom, can also be found on this floor, which is air-conditioned. There is under-floor heating thoughout the property, as well as extensive cupboards providing excellent storage.
The house has achieved a four-star rating under the Code for Sustainable Homes, thanks largely to its outstanding energy efficiency, and benefits from a full ten-year NHBC warranty.
The property is in a Conservation Area; the woodland that it overlooks, Albion Millennium Green, is one of 245 Millennium Greens across the UK – protected areas of green space that were created in 2000 as “permanent breathing spaces” and “places of tranquility” in urban areas.
Ian McChesney’s celebrated work crosses the fields of art, architecture and industrial design. He has completed a number of large-scale public commissions, notably Out of the Strong Came Forth Sweetness, a sculpture and seat in The Angel Building, North London. In his proposal for the house on Redberry Grove, McChesney wrote of his vision that “the reflections of foliage can be seen in the black glass façade, giving the building a lucid quality and help it blend into its surroundings”.
Redberry Grove is tucked away off Sydenham Park Road, situated close to both Forest Hill and Sydenham stations, which provide excellent rail / Overground links to London Bridge, Canada Water, Highbury & Islington, Shoreditch and Victoria. Dulwich College, Alleyn’s School, James Allen’s Girls’ School, and Sydenham High School for Girls are all close by.
Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.
Ian McChesney Ltd is a London-based architecture practice that was founded in 2001, working on projects for private clients, local authorities and commercial development companies. The practice specialises in creating homes for private clients and furniture and sculpture for public spaces. Recent commissions include new seating for Granary Square, King’s Cross, and a glass-clad house in south London. Another well-known project is ‘Out of the Strong Came Forth Sweetness’, a striking sculpture in the Angel Building, Islington. Ian McChesney is the founder of the studio and works directly on all projects. Clients enjoy this tailored approach and the extensive experience he brings to the process. The studio has built up an extensive list of consultants, contractors and specialist fabricators, and much value is placed on the contributions that they bring to our work. We also employ the latest computer technology in the design, visualisation and sometimes manufacture of our projects. We do not work to a house style but instead look at every new project as a new opportunity exploring new ideas and looking to relevant precedents as we go. This allows each project to be both original and specific to the client and the setting.