Architect Visit: Herringbone House in London by

Issue 14 · Warm Minimalism · April 7, 2014

Architect Visit: Herringbone House in London

Issue 14 · Warm Minimalism · April 7, 2014

In our DIY-enthused culture, there are some who might think they don’t require an architect’s design skills even for a ground-up construction. A project like Atelier Chan Chan’s Herringbone House in Islington, London, reminds us so clearly of why we do. Despite its awkwardly wedge-shaped, urban-infill site, the elegant four-bedroom house, with its patterned-brick exterior, warm Scandinavian interior finishes, and front and back courtyards, appears deceptively simple and straightforward—truly the mark of good design.

Unless otherwise noted, photographs by Mike Tsang via Arch Daily and Dezeen

Above: Founding principal of Atelier Chan Chan, architect Zoe Chan, stands before her recently completed design. The house is comprised of two volumes, one of which steps back to created a courtyard. While the use of brick fits into the context of the surrounding Victorican terrace houses, the herringbone pattern is a contemporary update that sets the structure apart from its neighbors. Photograph by Thomas Giddings.

Herringbone House courtyard garden by Atelier Chan Chan, London, Mike Tsang Photograph | Remodelista

Above: Inspired by siheyuan, traditional Chinese courtyard houses, Chan, who was born in England of Chinese parents, introduced two walled courtyard rooms, one at the front and one at the back, as an effective solution for drawing light into the middle of the narrow and nonlinear site.

Herringbone House living room by Atelier Chan Chan, London, Thomas Giddings Photograph | Remodelista

Above: The open layout means that light and air flood through the length of the house, from the front walled courtyard to the combination kitchen and dining area in the back. Photograph by Thomas Giddings.

Herrringbone House Kitchen by Atelier Chan Chan, London,  Pearl colored brick, Mike Tsang Photograph | Remodelista

Above: A kitchen wall of pearl-colored bricks is effective in reflecting light; the brick's texture keeps the room from looking at all cold or sterile.

Herringbone House living room built in bench and storage by Atelier Chan Chan, London, Mike Tsang Photograph | Remodelista

Above: Wall-to-wall storage in the kitchen doubles as a bench.

Herringbone House courtyard garden by Atelier Chan Chan, London, Mike Tsang Photograph | Remodelista

Above: Chan inserted a second walled courtyard garden behind the kitchen, ensuring that light and air flow through at both ends.

Herringbone House living room by Atelier Chan Chan, London, Mike Tsang Photograph | Remodelista

Above: A muted palette of whites, grays, and beiges runs consistently from room to room.

Herringbone House stair by Atelier Chan Chan, London, Thomas Giddings Photograph | Remodelista

Above: A sculptural steel stair with open risers is flooded with light from a skylight above. Photograph by Thomas Giddings.

Herringbone House by Atelier Chan Chan, London, Mike Tsang Photograph | Remodelista

Above: A view from one bedroom down the length of the house to another illustrates the effectiveness of the light-producing wall courtyards upstairs as well as down. 

Herringbone House bedroom by Atelier Chan Chan, London, Mike Tsang Photograph | Remodelista

Above: Limed wood brings warmth into the bedrooms while reflecting light. 

Herringbone House Bathroom by Atelier Chan Chan, London, Thomas Giddings Photograph | Remodelista

Above: Marble-tiled floors and above-counter sinks add an understated luxury in the master bathroom. 

Herringbone House Bathroom by Atelier Chan Chan, London, Thomas Giddings Photograph | Remodelista

Above: Cracked porcelain cabinet knobs introduce subtle texture to the white palette of the bathroom. 

Herringbone House, exterior brick detail  by Atelier Chan Chan, London, Mike Tsang Photograph | Remodelista

Above: Herringbone brickwork is a classic used in a new way.

Herringbone House, Zoe Chang, Atelier Chan Chan | Remodelista

Above: Atelier Chan Chan introduced maximum glazing and a horizontal coursing of the brick pattern to delineate the floor levels. Photograph by Thomas Giddings

 

Herringbone House Floor Plans, Atelier Chan Chan | Remodelista

The floor plans delineate the architect's inventive use of the wedge-shaped site. Above L: The ground floor shows the two walled courtyard gardens at the front and back of the house. Above R: The three-bedroom upstairs level. 

Can you Spot the Difference Between Herringbone and Chevron?  If you're looking for more examples of artful brickwork, see 5 Favorites: Bricks Made Modern. And over on Gardenista, we show you What to Grow on a Brick Wall



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