Studio House
Camden, London, 2017–20

A new contemporary house on a magical plot in the woods on the edge of London's Hampstead Heath.

We were appointed to create a new house on the site that retained the openness and connection with the outdoors but doubled the floor area. With a significantly lower budget than recent houses built in the area the client wanted to build simply, prioritising volume over finishes. Opportunities to reuse old elements in the new home were pursued.

The site is wrapped in an old brick wall. By removing the previous studio from the middle of the plot the assorted external spaces collate into a generous walled garden.

A casual family of distinct volumes set along the east boundary define an external room the width of the site. The exterior is framed by the varied silhouette of gently sloped forms, generous new glazing and the original perimeter wall and porch.

All the main rooms open out onto this external room, providing an intense connection with the immediate outdoors and views of the woodland beyond.

Sitting in the Hampstead Conservation area, one of the UK’s first, there were significant concerns about overlooking and the ability of a contemporary house to fit in. Openings were focused on the west façade, overlooking the external garden room and lane beyond. Handmade Coleford bricks in vauxhall grey were used for blank boundary walls, synthesising the assemblage of rooms and weathering well to harmonise with the existing wall and neighbouring buildings. Rooflights ensure the house enjoys a range of natural light throughout. The two-storey curtain walling with brown-grey timber frames assimilates with the mature chestnut trees.

In the previous studio, family life had revolved around a wood burning stove. In the new house, a brick hearth and chimney sit at the centre of the plan, a distinct figure that both connects and separates the adjacent spaces.

Painted steels support big openings amidst the load bearing masonry perimeter. Spruce ply linings and unpainted plaster ceilings create a provisional interior for adaptation by the family over time. Oak beams and columns from the previous studio are reimagined and reused throughout the new home as balustrades, shelving, a club fender seat and the kitchen table.

Beyond meeting the needs of the family, Studio House provides ‘eyes on the lane’, its increased presence and views out supporting the public life of the Heath over which it discretely stands guard.

The project commenced in October 2017 and the planning application was determined swiftly in July 2018. Siteworks started in September 2018 and the client moved into a water-tight house in September 2019 with completion in December 2019. Further changes have been made to the home in response to the evolving needs of the family, including new internal partitions to create an acoustically distinct study for working at home.

Invited design competition. Completed 2020.


  • RIBA Regional Award shortlisted 2022
  • Camden Design Awards shortlisted 2022
  • Manser Medal – AJ House of the Year Award shortlisted 2023
  • New London Awards: Housing shortlisted 2023


Hampstead, London NW3

Structural Engineer
HRW Engineers

Planning Consultant