Foley Road | Claygate, UK | 2020
[Alexander Martin Architects]

Alexander Martin Architects has completed a new house for a young family in Claygate, Surrey which reinterprets the surrounding Arts & Crafts aesthetic with a contemporary form. The client sought an innovative response to the site and so the house was rapidly built using modern methods of construction, with simple, robust materials used to create an elegant interior and exterior, redefining the aspirations for suburban architecture.

The new building replaces a smaller 1920s house that previously occupied the sizable triangular plot, sitting on the bend in the road. The architects were able to take advantage of this shape and have created two pitched volumes that are joined by a double-height central section. The roofline mirrors the neighboring properties but the selection of a pale buff brick for the outer walls and vertical banding clearly marks this house out from the surrounding context. Large windows bring light into the front and rear of the building, with substantial sliding doors providing access to the garden.

Internally, a monochrome palette was desired by the owners, which has been achieved with exposed concrete floors, a blackened steel staircase, and black veneered joinery to give a strong yet minimalist look. This is then balanced with marble used in the bathrooms and softer interior furnishings. The rich composition of materials presents a timeless quality and therefore a calm backdrop in which to live.

Off-site timber construction was used as the primary means of structure, to ensure a quick build on site. Structurally insulated panels (SIP) were assembled within a minimum of fuss and erected within a matter of weeks. An air-source heat pump is employed to create a much more environmentally friendly form of heating and future-proof the home for the family.

Alexander Martin said, “Our client was clear from the outset that they didn’t want a run-of-the-mill house and that they were prepared to do something bold in the suburbs. However, the design and materials have all been carefully orchestrated to create a series of spaces that best serve the needs of the family while still maintaining an elegant appearance.” Text description by the architects | Visit to read more about the project.

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Photography by: Simone Bossi