Weathered Steel Clads a $4.7M Home Near London’s Kew Gardens

A modern construction in the historic context of the Kew Green Conservation Area in southwest London, the award-winning Kew House by Piercy&Company marries glass, steel, and 19th-century brick to stunning effect.
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The four-bedroom residence, set behind the remaining facade of a Victorian stable, is comprised of two steel structures connected by a glass-enclosed courtyard. "Transforming a brownfield site in a conservation area was not without its difficulties," says director Stuart Piercy of Piercy&Company. "The house is a rare contemporary addition within the neighborhood, its twin gabled forms reflecting its neighbors, and its rugged brick jacket easing the new building into the streetscape."

"Kew House was conceived as an interplay between the rustic exterior of weathering steel and retained stable wall and the refined, light interior," says Piercy, "the glazed circulation link revealing the contrast from inside and out." 

Brick and oak line the interior of the living room, where a wood-burning stove creates a welcoming ambiance. A large picture window opens onto the courtyard. Above, a perforated steel panel allows for an interplay of light and shadow. 

Bespoke oak cabinetry, produced by an on-site joinery workshop, conceals storage in the living room. A curved ceiling softens the space.

Despite constraints that included the conservation requirements, a change of use, and lack of access on three sides, Piercy&Company designed a house that responds to the clients’ lifestyle. "It became clear that this was about crafting an informal family home with expressive spaces capable of generating moments of delight for children and adults alike," says Piercy. The two wings include living spaces on the ground floor and bedrooms above. Built of weathering steel, the volumes are maintenance-free and feature perforations that create a dappling effect, echoing Kew Gardens and the natural environment. The glass circulation link allows light to flood the interior space and exposes the contrast of interior and exterior materials.

A flight above the living room, a kitchen and dining area opens onto a walled rear courtyard. The wing also includes a pantry, a walk-in closet, laundry room, and bathroom.

Birch ply cabinets with white melamine facings, walnut worktops, and integrated Siemens appliances create an airy workspace.

"It became clear that this was about crafting an informal family home with expressive spaces capable of generating moments of delight." - Stuart Piercy 

An exposed steel staircase in a glazed circulation link connects the two living wings.

"Approaching the design as a kind of build diagram of the way the family wanted to live, we created an internal landscape of alternative routes, levels, and spaces—many of which are aimed more at children than adults," says Piercy, "such as the slide providing rapid access to the basement from the first floor." The build was also an experiment in self-build methods: the steel shells were prefabricated, craned into place, and welded together on site; CNC milling and a joinery workshop contributed bespoke paneling, furniture, and cabinetry. Bold and imaginative as well as introspective, Kew House was a finalist for the RIBA House of the Year 2015, among other awards.

Large windows, partially screened by perforated steel, make for an airy master bedroom, which exhibits more bespoke oak cabinetry.

An en-suite bathroom, walk-in closet, and window seat complete the bedroom. A bridge leads to a guest room, a family bathroom, and two linked children's bedrooms.

A sunken courtyard acts like a light well illuminating the basement, which is currently set up as a playroom, though it can be renovated to become additional bedrooms, an office, a self-contained studio, or even a lap pool.

Alternative routes, levels, and spaces create a landscape of delight in the home—like this slide that leads from the living room to the basement.

The one-of-a-kind home is now on the market for $4,659,560. For more information and to request a viewing, visit the website.


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