A compact house on Leconfield Road, in north London, is proof that good things can come in small packages. “A distinct and different design solution,” was the verdict of the judges of the Activ in Architecture competition, who judged the development winner of the small project award. Designed by KCA Architects making extensive use of Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass, the two-bedroom house fits snugly into an infill site on the street of terraced houses marking a bend in the road.
Pilkington Activ™ was an integral part of the design, combining aesthetic quality with functional performance. Moulded leaf patterns found embellished in the stonework of the surrounding houses act as the inspiration for the decoration of the insulated glazed façade panels. These are arranged in a framework of slim aluminium sections and comprise 6mm toughened Pilkington Activ with enamel patterning on the inner face and 6mm clear toughened glass with a white vinyl and foil backing.
The curtain walling element pushes out from the façade, echoing the bay windows of the flanking houses, whilst the first floor opening windows are also set back to empathise with the surrounding sash windows. Glass balustrading further enhances the feeling of lightness in this tiny house.
One of the main planning conditions concerned the ongoing cleaning of the façade, which is where Pilkington Activ™ comes into its own. Kees van der Sande of KCA Architects commented: “The planners were very conscious of maintaining a physical representation of the gap between terraces and glass was the obvious choice.
One planning condition added at the last minute concerned the future cleaning of the glass. By specifying Pilkington Activ™ all parties were satisfied that this building will maintain its great looks for years to come.”
The design of the house has earned the architects praise from many quarters, including the Borough of Islington’s planning department who applauded the scheme as a high quality contextual response to the setting.