Located on an urban infill site in close proximity to the River Quaggy in Lewisham, No. 49 is a new-build, two-storey single dwelling. Designed by 31/44 Architects for one of the practice’s partners, Steven Davies, it is the second self-build that Stephen has built within the same street in Lewisham in five years, following completion of No. 22 in 2011.
The form and arrangement of the house is derived from a response to the immediate context and site conditions. Raised above the street to alleviate the risk of flooding, the three-bedroom dwelling has a staggered rectilinear plan at ground level, with the first-floor mass located towards the northern site boundary. The layout is designed to maximise the scheme’s south-facing aspect and establish a close relationship between the internal and external living spaces.
Organised around three courtyards, the west side of the plan houses the main living areas with views into the front and rear gardens. A guest suite opens onto a third courtyard, while a second reception space is located towards the rear. The first floor is accessed via a curved timber staircase with a large picture window overlooking the street. Facing south towards the river and a nearby park, the master bedroom is linked to the third bedroom via connecting doors.
The house has a quiet, dignified appearance. It is constructed from a grey brick sourced from Belgium which was chosen to complement the weathered London stocks of the neighbouring houses. A 4.5-metre-long precast concrete lintel bisects the front elevation and an oversized masonry column accentuates the apparent weight of the building.
Inside the house plywood storage units and a curved staircase provide a warmth and tactile finish. Solid cladding panels are hung using French cleats to ensure all fixings are concealed, creating a seamless integrated storage system for home wares and treasured objects collected over the years.