sophie hicks crafts a secluded concrete home in central london
 

sophie hicks crafts a secluded concrete home in central london

in london’s kensington district, just steps from earls court road, architect sophie hicks has designed herself a private and secluded residence at the heart of the city. occupying a relatively small site in a conservation area, the building was limited by planning constraints to two storeys: one above ground, and one below. according to the design team, the scheme aims to maximize not only the actual space, internally, but also the perception of space.

sophie hicks london house 1a earls court square
the home is located in london’s kensington district, just steps from earls court road
image by annabel elston (also main image)

 

 

to achieve this, sophie hicks architects built right up to the boundary of the plot and gave the house generous ceiling heights. despite its partially subterranean setting, ‘1A earl’s court square’ remains open to the outside world — welcoming natural light, while framing views of the trees that surround the property. ‘our goal was to create an urban house that was comfortable but sustainable; and that looked and felt, in every sense, healthy,’ explain the architects.

sophie hicks london house 1a earls court square
the entrance to the two-storey property
image by annabel elston

 

 

exposed concrete has been used for the building’s structural frame, with a rough board-marked finish found throughout. meanwhile, a contrasting polished concrete is used for the floors. the home has been conceived as a ‘quiet machine’ and, as such, the floors can be heated and cooled as desired. elsewhere, some of the windows slide or guillotine electronically. to ensure that the home retains its minimal appearance, the electrics are organized in stainless steel boxes discreetly set into the columns.

sophie hicks london house 1a earls court square
electrics are organized in stainless steel boxes discreetly set into the columns
image by annabel elston

 

 

high specification glass has been used to reduce heat loss and solar gain, while concrete, with its high thermal mass, has been chosen for the same reason. in addition, solar panels have been incorporated to offset carbon dioxide emissions. ‘contemporary houses such as this are sadly rare in kensington; and even more rarely visible from the street,’ notes the design team. NOWNESS has produced a film by nick ballon about sophie hicks and the house, which can be seen here.

sophie hicks london house 1a earls court square
the home has been conceived as a ‘quiet machine’
image by annabel elston

sophie hicks london house 1a earls court square
some of the windows slide or guillotine electronically
image by sophie hicks

sophie hicks london house 1a earls court square
the living area on the upper level
image by sophie hicks

sophie hicks london house 1a earls court square
stairs lead to the subterranean storey
image by sophie hicks

sophie hicks london house 1a earls court square
a void brings daylight into the below ground bedroom
image by annabel elston

sophie hicks london house 1a earls court square
the use of concrete continues throughout the property
image by annabel elston

 

in residence: sophie hicks
video courtesy of NOWNESS

 

 

project info:

 

architect: sophie hicks architects
location: kensington, london, UK
completed: 2018

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

×
keep up with our daily and weekly stories
489,353 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample