FORMstudio’s newly completed courtyard houses in the London Borough of Southwark are located on a tight, irregular brownfield plot, previously occupied by a metalworks. The challenging site had narrow access, outlook and daylight issues, and these constraints have directly determined the form and fenestration of the pair of new-build, 2-storey, 3-bedroom family houses. The houses, with their barrel-vaulted profile, are semi-submerged in order to mitigate visual impact. On the East side, where the boundary is closest to the existing terrace of houses, the first floor is also set back, creating an extensive sedum roof, which provides additional light and an attractive outlook between the two structures. Windows are orientated to the south to take advantage of unrestricted views, maximising natural light and avoiding overlooking, with living spaces at the lowered level opening onto private courtyards. The ground floors are clad in a contemporary pale brick with the upper barrel-vaulted storeys finished in zinc standing-seam cladding: materials which reference the industrial heritage of the site but are articulated with a refined level of detailing to create a sense of substance and quality. Careful orientation results in interior spaces that are flooded with natural light, despite the tight site constraints and – characteristic of FORMstudio’s portfolio – there is a subtle emphasis on spatial flow both internally and externally: the houses benefit from imaginative landscaping which provides unexpected and generous views.