The clients, a professional couple with two young daughters, wanted to build a new house on a typically suburban road in St Albans. A legal covenant meant that the new house had to be single-storey and have a flat roof, unusual constraints in such a traditional environment.
The accommodation required included an open plan kitchen/dining room, a conservatory, a separate living room, two studies, four bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The scale of the family accommodation, the limited width of the site and the limitations of single storey development, all led to a simple courtyard layout. The courtyards at the front of the property act as a buffer zone to the street, and the courtyards in the central part of the house provide light, ventilation and external spaces to rooms that would otherwise be entirely internal.
The height of the two main living spaces has been increased to create a more generous sense of space and the clerestory glazing catches both the morning and evening sun.