An Architect Couple Play With Texture in Their Handcrafted London Home

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By Michele Koh Morollo
The husband-and-wife team behind Liddicoat & Goldhill use diverse materials for their house in Hackney, which is angled to capture light on a narrow site.

Creative couple David Liddicoat and Sophie Goldhill of the RIBA award-winning Liddicoat & Goldhill designed and built their 2,390-square-foot home in the London Borough of Hackney "to explore the ideal texture and atmosphere of domestic architecture." Located within the Victoria Park conservation area on an irregularly shaped site, the home is constrained by local building regulations that forbid new builds to impede neighbors’ access to natural light. To overcome these challenges, the architects used careful computer analysis to enable the house’s asymmetric form to be oriented to capture key moments of sunlight, yet still create regular interior spaces.

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Makers House rests on an irregular site in Hackney, London.

Makers House rests on an irregular site in Hackney, London.

Liddicoat and Goldhill's home in the Victoria Park conservation area sports a steeply slanted roofline.

Liddicoat and Goldhill's home in the Victoria Park conservation area sports a steeply slanted roofline.

Named The Makers House—due to the fact that the couple handcrafted most of the house themselves—the four-level residence has a rich material palette, and was fabricated using a variety of processes. 

The back of Makers House features large amounts of glazing.

The back of Makers House features large amounts of glazing.

Large, pivoting glass doors connect the kitchen with a patio.

Large, pivoting glass doors connect the kitchen with a patio.

"The exterior combines Roman brickwork with inky, pigmented zinc roofing and bleached larch carpentry," says Liddicoat. "Internally, the structural steel­ and timber­ work is exposed, and married to a restrained palette of reclaimed and re­purposed industrial materials."

Different materials and textures create an interesting facade.

Different materials and textures create an interesting facade.

Metal, brick, and wood harmonize near the entrance of the house.

Metal, brick, and wood harmonize near the entrance of the house.

The multi-level, "broken plan" ground floor has a raised sitting room, a lofty kitchen, and a basement snug and larder. Each of these areas retain their own distinct atmosphere, yet remain highly connected to rest of the house.

The living room features an exposed brick wall and ceiling beams.

The living room features an exposed brick wall and ceiling beams.

The living lounge looks down to the kitchen.

The living lounge looks down to the kitchen.

The entire rear facade at the ground level consists of three large, pivoting glazed doors—two which are full-height—that open out to a courtyard terrace. 

Expansive, bright circulations offer opportunities to display art and family objects, and encourage occupants to enjoy peaceful moments.

Expansive, bright circulations offer opportunities to display art and family objects, and encourage occupants to enjoy peaceful moments.

The open kitchen and dining area flows out to the courtyard.

The open kitchen and dining area flows out to the courtyard.

The outdoor terrace is rendered in concrete.

The outdoor terrace is rendered in concrete.

A west-facing sitting room at the entrance level looks down onto a bespoke, hand-built kitchen and dining area. 

The simple, efficient kitchen features a stainless-steel counter. From the kitchen, another staircase descends to a basement with a utility room, larder, and TV area.

The simple, efficient kitchen features a stainless-steel counter. From the kitchen, another staircase descends to a basement with a utility room, larder, and TV area.

Vibrant blues brighten up the kitchen.

Vibrant blues brighten up the kitchen.

In the upper levels where the bedrooms are located, the materials are of lighter weight and unified by Rhodesian mahogany floors reclaimed from Hove Bus Station.

A bedroom with an ensuite bathroom.

A bedroom with an ensuite bathroom.

Large windows bring sunlight into the bedroom.

Large windows bring sunlight into the bedroom.

Tranquil bedroom suites are located on the first floor, while the attic is furnished as a studio that enjoys sunlight from the north.

Pops of color add plenty of character to one of the bedrooms.

Pops of color add plenty of character to one of the bedrooms.

A sitting area and bathroom are located outside one of the bedrooms.

A sitting area and bathroom are located outside one of the bedrooms.

A freestanding bath lies underneath skylights in the master bathroom.

A freestanding bath lies underneath skylights in the master bathroom.

Towards the rear is a spacious suite that combines spaces for sleeping, bathing, dressing, and contemplation. This suite is fitted with paneled walls that slide to one side on cast iron to separate or conjoin the bedroom and bathroom. 

Shop the Look
A child's sleeping area has curtains for privacy.

A child's sleeping area has curtains for privacy.

A study area is located near a window.

A study area is located near a window.

A bedroom with a light blue sliding door.

A bedroom with a light blue sliding door.

Related Reading: Loads of Color Define a Revamped 1960s Townhouse in London

Project Credits: 

Architect and builder: Liddicoat & Goldhill LLP / @liddicoatgoldhill

Structural engineering: Fluid Structures