Wrap House is a project designed by OB Architecture. Set on an unassuming narrow plot within the Metropolitan Green Belt south of London, The Wrap House is a modern 200m2, 2-storey family home overlooking the open fields of Biggin Hill Airport.
The house comprises of 2 long ‘wrapping’ elements that stretch down the narrow site; the white rendered ‘wraps’ contain all the living and sleeping accommodation and are infilled with cedar panels and large expanses of glazing at each end. Set between these ‘wrapping’ elements is a double height glazed circulation atrium that runs through the entire length of the house linking all the spaces together and creating a visual connection between the front and the back of the house. The glazed atrium brings light deep into the house and mitigates against the east-west orientation of the plot, ensuring the living spaces are filled with natural light all throughout the day.
A study and kitchen is located at the front of the house with the dining area and a large double height living room at the rear overlooking the garden. At first floor 2 bedrooms are located at the front with the master bedroom and ensuite to the rear.
The house replaces a small, tired 1950s bungalow which sat amongst a row of equally undistinguished single storey properties. This posed the first of many problems in that the local planning authority would only allow for a 10% increase in size over the existing house. After much negotiation we eventually received permission for a circa 40% increase by using a hypothetical permitted development exercise showing how the existing house could be extended without planning permission.
The replacement house also had to respect the heights of the surrounding bungalows; by manipulating the levels and stepping the building down, in spite of being a storey higher than the neighbouring properties, the flat roof parapet levels sit below the ridge lines of the adjoining houses.
The house was constructed for a relatively modest £1,500/m2, challenging the notion that bespoke modern houses cost from £2,000/m2 upwards.
Photography by Martin Gardner