A Slender Geothermal Cottage in London

written by:
photos by:
June 1, 2010
Originally published in Megacities
as
Mind the Gap
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  • 
  On an eight-foot-wide site in London, architect Luke Tozer cleverly squeezed in 
a four-story home equipped with rain-water-harvesting and geothermal systems.
    On an eight-foot-wide site in London, architect Luke Tozer cleverly squeezed in a four-story home equipped with rain-water-harvesting and geothermal systems.
  • 
  The glass walls that separate the living area from the courtyard fully retract to allow a smooth passage between the two. 
    The glass walls that separate the living area from the courtyard fully retract to allow a smooth passage between the two. 
  • 
  The staircase is a bespoke design by Luke Tozer, made of a larch composite sourced from sustainable forestry in Austria. It was made off-site and then assembled in position like a jigsaw puzzle.  
    The staircase is a bespoke design by Luke Tozer, made of a larch composite sourced from sustainable forestry in Austria. It was made off-site and then assembled in position like a jigsaw puzzle.  
  • 
  At the back, the building steps down to the courtyard garden in a ziggurat formation, with the main living spaces on the lowest floor.
    At the back, the building steps down to the courtyard garden in a ziggurat formation, with the main living spaces on the lowest floor.
  • 
  The glass wall separating the main living area and the inner courtyard garden opens like an accordion to create a barrier-free transition. Built-in planters along the walls of the courtyard add greenery without eating into the valuable surface 
area of the courtyard. 
    The glass wall separating the main living area and the inner courtyard garden opens like an accordion to create a barrier-free transition. Built-in planters along the walls of the courtyard add greenery without eating into the valuable surface area of the courtyard. 
  • 
  The fluid relationship between the open-plan living zone and the garden, enhanced by even floor levels inside and out, helps create a generous feeling of space, despite the challenging constraints of the limited site.
    The fluid relationship between the open-plan living zone and the garden, enhanced by even floor levels inside and out, helps create a generous feeling of space, despite the challenging constraints of the limited site.
  • 
  Throughout the house, built-in storage and shelving is cleverly positioned in alcoves and recesses, as in the dining area, which allows clutter to be easily cleared away.
    Throughout the house, built-in storage and shelving is cleverly positioned in alcoves and recesses, as in the dining area, which allows clutter to be easily cleared away.
  • 
  Luke Tozer invested in a rainwater-harvesting system for the house that meets part of the family’s need for domestic water and is used to flush the four toilets in the house.
    Luke Tozer invested in a rainwater-harvesting system for the house that meets part of the family’s need for domestic water and is used to flush the four toilets in the house.
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