Architect: Takero Shimazaki Architects (t-sa)
Modestly veiled behind layers of silvering chestnut cladding, this monastic oasis, with courtyard garden, has recently been completed to a beautifully contemplative and tactile design by Takero Shimazaki Architects. The house can be found on Tiverton Road, a short walk from Kensal Rise, between the green spaces of Queen’s Park and Tiverton Green.
Taking its inspiration from Turner’s ‘Interior of an Italian Church’ the house is intended as a sanctum from the modern world, its monolithic structure and measured pools of light a rare environment for focus and reflection. The design expertly marries light and lighting with a simple, textured palette of concrete, natural wood and stone, echoing the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi.
Entry from the street is through the concealed door of a chestnut fence. A polished-concrete gallery, with steel barrier to the courtyard void, continues through the arched opening of an entrance porch, into a hallway of bare plaster. To the left is the main bedroom, with a dramatic wall of shuttered concrete and two high-arched windows overlooking the courtyard garden below. To the right is a versatile room with sedum roof and large circular roof light.
The corridor continues toward a study space, with a glass floor directly over the kitchen. Three roof lights, within a steep double-height mono-pitch, flood the space with light, with one opening electrically for ventilation. To the left is a bathroom with marble herringbone tiling, brass fittings and a reclaimed bird-bath stone sink with bespoke stand.
A brass handrail descends to the lower-ground floor alongside a wonderful concrete spiral staircase, lit from above by a high, arched window. The kitchen pairs Corian worktops with Dornbracht fittings and Miele appliances. Light comes from the glass floor above and an open porthole through to the staircase and dining room.
Arched glazing opens from here onto a pebbled-courtyard garden with Japanese Acer tree and an outdoor shower. The living room also opens to the courtyard and between the two rooms is a utility room with washer / dryer, and a shower room with cement tiling and brass fittings.
The house is brilliantly located between Kensal Rise and Queens Park. Both areas have an excellent selection of independent shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. There is a well-established farmers’ market that takes place every Sunday nearby. The green spaces of Queens Park are a short walk away, particularly popular with local families, whilst Tiverton Green is well known amongst dog walkers.
The closest station is Kensal Rise, running London Overground services to Highbury & Islington and Stratford in on direction, and Richmond in the other. Nearby Queens Park is on the Bakerloo Line. The Westway provides easy road access out of London and Heathrow Airport.
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.
Takero Shimazaki Architects (t-sa)
t-sa is an architectural atelier focused on producing work of enduring quality since 1996. Its approach deeply engages with each characteristic of the context and materiality of each project. From the refurbishment of small domestic spaces and listed buildings, to new build residential or public projects, t-sa aims to create timeless architecture with clarity and sensitive subtleties. The practice seeks to construct the future heritage of our built environment and landscapes.
t-sa is a RIBA chartered practice and has won numerous awards including four RIBA awards in 2016 for Curzon Bloomsbury cinema and Leicester Print Workshop. The practice is currently working on a concrete house in Queen’s Park and a number of housing projects in South London and Sussex.