Liddicoat & Goldhill

Shadow House


This was David and Sophie’s own first home; a true self-build, integrating planning, design, finance and construction into one fluid process. The project won a RIBA National award, the Small House Award at British Homes, the Daily Telegraph Homebuilding and Renovation Award, a New London Architecture commendation and a Manser Medal nomination.

It is a bijou house (829 sqft), built inside and out, in slim-format Dutch engineering brick – a robust material with a delicate black glaze. Interior structure and window reveals are in raw larch, while polished concrete floors flow between each of the rooms. Slabs of bookmatched Statuarietto marble are used throughout the house as a reflective contrast to the brick walls. The dramatic design revolves around the play of light and dark; carefully controlled moments of intensity and quiet shadow.

The bright first floor bathroom has a huge sheer glass ceiling that contrasts with the intense atmosphere of the living spaces. There is a sensation of being outside; showered in full sunshine or bathing under the stars. Space is carved into the walls throughout for everyday clutter; the T.V. and its cables are concealed behind black glass, the loo roll has its own marble niche; discreet storage fills every spare corner, buried into the brickwork.

Photography: Keith Collie