45 Coolhurst Road is an imposing detached family home
built into a leafy hillside between Highgate and Crouch End in north London. The Oculus team acted as both architect and construction manager on this project which was completed in the spring of 2002.
Our concept was to design a contemporary house with the emphasis on clear, natural light-filled, adaptable open plan living that is sympathetically set within an Edwardian street. Also noteworthy was our use of prefabrication: maximising off-site fabrication including precast concrete basement panels and timber frame construction to minimise damage to a heavily wooded hillside.
The goal was to create a home that would blend with its Edwardian context and yet transform itself, internally and away from the street, into something more of its time and place. Inside one experiences an uplifting contemporary space that freely adapts to its inhabitants' whims. The repeated use of the curve, in contrast to the otherwise orthogonal geometry, is a recurrent motif in both plan and section and conveys a sense of spatial contraction and expansion.
The house benefits from a vast array of modern technologies enabling a response to varying needs and uses. The specification includes air conditioning, ventilation and heat recovery, underfloor heating, interactive lighting, security controls, home entertainment, and a central vacuuming system.
A contemporary staircase, with curving stainless steel balustrade, ascends through four floors establishing vantage points between rooms and levels. Above the stairwell, motorised roof-lights flood this space with natural light.
The gallery library suspended above the main living volume projects through the southwest facing double-height window wall. This balcony affords a relaxed position to view the setting sun across a private landscaped garden.
Developer and Principle Architect: Daniel Smith
Architectural Team: Kelly Wong, Raj Patel
Year of Completion: 2001
Estimated Budget: undisclosed
Contract: JCT: Design and Build
We are an ambitious team of skilled architects and designers who strive to create excellent buildings. We see the delivery of a completed project as the culmination of a complex process from conception through to construction. We are adapt at resolving complex issues and pride ourselves in producing innovative, context-responsive design solutions.
Our work processes involve exploration of client brief, development of scheme in 3D BIM (Building Information Management) and procurement of scheme with a number of key collaborative consultants. Our service is creative, efficient and professional and provides clients with lastly value through a superior product.