The architect De Rosee Sa was asked to turn a windowless West London storage which was wedged between a block of terrace houses and a row of sixteen garages into a two-bedroom home. This was clearly not an easy task. Yet despite the spatial limitations and the tight planning constraints, De Rosee Sa managed to create a modern, daylight-filled, two-bedroom house of minimalist elegance and impeccable craftsmanship that nonetheless references the site’s industrial past with the most perfect and beautiful decor.
The owners, who live across the road, bought the property containing an old timber yard in order to prevent it being overdeveloped. Its extremely narrow footprint and the impossibility of having windows along its 37 metre-long boundaries, coupled with strict planning limitations that dictated that the new building could not exceed the existing one-storey structure in height, posed serious challenges in converting the run-down shed into a modern residence. To overcome these hurdles, the architects incorporated several skylights and a series of small courtyards to inundate the aptly names Courtyard House with natural light.
Enclosed by glazed, steel-framed windows and doors that give off both a contemporary vibe and an industrial sensibility,the outdoor yards prevent the spaces in-between from feeling enclosed despite the lack of external views, while affording lines of sight across the length of the building. In the summer, when the doors are opened, they also allow for natural cross-ventilation.
Eschewing ornamental flourishes, the house is sparsely furnished with an eclectic selection of vintage and rustic pieces that elegantly complement a refined aesthetic that harmoniously oscillates between modernity and quaintness, and speak to the fact that “once inside, you forget that this house is in London” as director of De Rosee Sa Architects Max de Rosee succinctly described the project’s key aspect.
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