The Framehouse
Rowe Lane, London E9


Architect: Marcus Lee

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Winner of an RIBA Award for architectural excellence, the Framehouse is a very special detached five-bedroom eco home designed by Marcus Lee, formerly an associate director at the Richard Rogers Partnership. It is discreetly located at the end of a cul-de-sac, with off-street parking and a 40ft garden.

Internal accommodation is arranged over three floors. The ground floor contains a large workspace and guest WC at the front, with steps down to a huge open-plan reception room and kitchen at the rear. This extraordinary room is partly double-height, with floor-to-ceiling glazing providing views of the garden and exceptional levels of natural light. The first floor contains two bedrooms, a bathroom, a shower room and a study area, and the second floor has three further bedrooms (two of which are linked together).

The house was featured on Channel Four’s Grand Designs. It is built using Siberian larch, with Red Cedar for frames and cladding, and Douglas Fir for the balconies, all of which add subtle variations of tone. Eco features include an air-source heat pump and rainwater harvesting. The layout is based on Japanese design, with storage arranged along the sidewalls, hiding the washing facilities. There are no load-bearing walls internally, so the layout could be reconfigured if required. The top floor was originally one large “dormitory” for children, and the ground floor has been altered over the years to incorporate varying amounts of workspace.

Marcus Lee spent 21 years at Richard Rogers Partnership, where he was involved with the design of the Lloyds Building and Heathrow Terminal Five. He left to establish his own practice, FLACQ, which later merged with Arup Associates, and latterly he has worked with Glenn Howells. He is currently a Partner at LEEP Architects.

The house has a distinctive wedge-shaped profile, politely turning its back on the workshops next door. Rowe Lane contains a mixture of light-industrial buildings, and is nestled amongst the historic houses of Sutton Place and Clapton Square. There are gardens and a playground in the adjacent Saint-John-at-Hackney Churchyard, and further open space can be found at Hackney Downs and London Fields. Chatsworth Road has a number of excellent cafés and restaurants, as well as a weekend market, and there are further local amenities on Mare Street. Nearby Chatham Place has been earmarked for significant redevelopment.

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.

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