London & South East Premier Construction RIBA Awards

Slip House: Bold design in Brixton

The Slip House- RIBA Awards 2013
Written by Roma Publications

The Slip House- RIBA Awards 2013

Nestled amongst Brixton’s traditional Victorian terraces is Slip House, distinctive and innovative, the home has become somewhat of a landmark in the borough. 

An urban sanctuary in busy South London, the prototype low energy home was designed in-house by Carl Turner Architects and has picked up several awards and featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs.

Three simple ‘slipped’ orthogonal box forms break up the bulk of the building, giving it its striking sculptural quality.  The top floor is clad in milky, translucent glass planks which continue past the roof to create a high level enclosure for a private roof terrace.

The boxes are carefully placed to maximize light and outlook from inside whilst not intruding on the neighbour’s outlook.

The Slip House- RIBA Awards 2013

“Designing and building your own home is both a privilege and an immense challenge. First and foremost it has to be home, then maybe, an inspiring piece of urban design. We also wanted it to be sustainable both ecologically and financially”, says Architect and proud home-owner Carl Turner.

“Living and working (‘living over the shop’) is something that really interests us. We see a prototype new ‘terraced’ house, squeezed into underutilised city (brownfield) sites. This flexible type of home can allow for the artisan or home-worker to sub-let or downsize. This can enliven local communities and produce ‘homes’ which create opportunities rather than be dormitories or financial assets. Slip House is flexible and can be used as a single home, studio workspace and apartment, or two apartments.”

Designed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5, Slip House features ‘energy piles’ which use a solar assisted ground source heat pump integrated into the pile foundations, PVs, a green roof, rain water harvesting, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and underfloor heating. The insulated pre-engineered panels were provided by offsite building solutions company, ‘Building With Frames’.

In keeping with the minimalist theme of the house there are absolutely no exposed fixings. “All of the joints were secretly fixed by hidden jointing systems, so attention to every tiny detail was paramount”, says Roy Middleton. Roy’s team carried out nearly all of the internal joinery work on the project, “It was a fantastic build and it is always great working with Carl”, Roy said.

The Slip House- RIBA Awards 2013

Long term partners M and M Architectural carried out the majority of the bespoke steelwork on the building, having worked with Carl Turner on several projects in the past they were more than happy to help in the construction of his own home.

The achievement of Carl Turner Architects on this project was recognised last month with a Royal Institute of British Architects National Award in a ceremony held at the RIBA, London. The jury referred to Slip House as ‘elegant and confident’ whilst demonstrating an ‘admirable commitment to the creation of an exemplar low energy house, with a suite of sustainable enhancements that are integrated effectively into the building design’.

Speaking about the project, Carl said: “We set out with a simple sculptural form of three canilevered (or slipped) boxes, the uppermost sheathed by a translucent glass screen. This upper box houses our living space and connects to a ‘sky garden’. The middle box houses sleeping and bathing and the ground box is given over to a multi-purpose space, currently housing our studio. This arrangement allows flexibility for future adaptation and uses.”

Carl Turner Architects was formed in 2006, and has established a reputation for high impact, low cost Architecture. The practice was shortlisted for Architect of the Year Award, small project architect 2012, receiving a ‘highly commended’ special mention.

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