Nicolò Lewanski

Nicolò Lewanski

New York, NY, US


Clapham Common

The existing building is in front of the Eagle Pond of Clapham Common park, a rapidly up and coming neighbourhood in the south of London, borough of Lambeth. The house dates back to the beginning of the 20th century to the first urbanization of the area, straight from the construction of the first terraces in a terrain formerly occupied only by Manors, and following the raise of the railing as a commuting system to central London.
Of course the building is a listed one, previously divided horizontally in three units, that had to become one only place on six floors, but with no alterations whatsoever possible to the street facade.
The client played an active role from the beginning in rationalizing the space as much as possible, making it easily legible and packing the functions in such a way in which he would not have to go up and down three floors every time he had to go to the living room; it is possible to say, he was a very conscious client who knew very well what he wanted. This operation of a renovation of a terraced house is extremely common in London and has been enacted by various architectural offices with good results. The main problems can be summarized as follows: the relationship with the rear garden is often not clear nor deepened in the victorian typical terrace. The light is often insufficient for today’s standard in the living areas. The stairs occupy a central position in a tight typology, and therefore tend to eliminate a god part of the space that is usable. As a result of this all the functions get normally scattered around mezzanines and small floors at all levels ending in a difficlut to use house, where probably you have to climb up three floors for the laundry and two floors back down for the nearest bathroom. The first operation was in fact a functional rationalization: day area on the lower three floor and night area on the upper three ones. This got even more subdivided, having a function at each floor, from down upwards: beauty center at the lower ground floor with a swimming pool, kitchen and dining room at the gorund floor (which implied as a typological innovation to move the kitchen on the street side, as opposed to what is usual), and living room on the first floor. Starting from the master bedroom on the second floor, guest bedrooms on the other two. The house is in the end a 4 bedroom urban villa. The relation with the garden was explored by excavating two meters in the garden, and thus by liberating the basement which then became a lower ground floor; at the same time the removal of the facade of the ground floor on the back allowed for light to arrive inside the space, compising also the dining room, and making it unusually spacy. here the most radical gesture of the project takes place: a sructural glass cube, of 5x5 meters divided in 4 panels of which one sliding laterally, deliitates the boundary of the house to the garden. The project is currently under construction.

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Status: Under Construction
Location: London, GB
My Role: Junior Architect
Additional Credits: Marco Guarnieri (director)
Lionella Biancon (internship)