Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gap House | by Pitman Tozer Architects

Established by Tim Pitman and Luke Tozer in 2002, Pitman Tozer Architects is a small practice located in West London with a mixture of projects on the go – from private houses and public housing to commercial and community projects. They have expertise in designing and building low energy buildings,  and the dwelling pictured above is a prime example of their ingenious use of space. Your eyes are not playing tricks on you. The above photo is their “Gap House”,  a home that was  constructed on an eight foot wide site in London. Architect Luke Tozer cleverly squeezed in a four story home equipped with rain water harvesting and geothermal systems. Take a look inside after the jump!
Only an architect would have been crazy enough to buy it.” –  Luke Tozer, Director at Pitman Tozer Architects
Gap House  was a  new construction  home that was built on a tight urban site in West London designed to minimise its Carbon footprint.   The glass walls that separate the living area from the courtyard fully retract to allow a smooth passage between the two.

The staircase is a bespoke design by Luke Tozer, made of a larch composite sourced from sustainable forestry in Austria. It was made off-site and then assembled in position like a jigsaw puzzle.

At the back, the building steps down to the courtyard garden in a ziggurat formation, with the main living spaces on the lowest floor.

The glass wall separating the main living area and the inner courtyard garden opens like an accordion to create a barrier-free transition. Built-in planters along the walls of the courtyard add greenery without eating into the valuable surface area of the courtyard.

The fluid relationship between the open-plan living zone and the garden, enhanced by even floor levels inside and out, helps create a generous feeling of space, despite the challenging constraints of the limited site.

Throughout the house, built-in storage and shelving is cleverly positioned in alcoves and recesses, as in the dining area, which allows clutter to be easily cleared away.

Luke Tozer invested in a rainwater-harvesting system for the house that meets part of the family’s need for domestic water and is used to flush the four toilets in the house.
The design was developed to determine the most cost effective methods of achieving an environmentally friendly house and utilizes:Passive solar design, highly insulated building envelope, a ground coupled heat pump,rainwater harvesting

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