Totteridge House by Gregory Phillips Architects

Gregory Phillips Architects has designed and built a striking, contemporary, five bedroom family home in Totteridge. Sitting adjacent to its traditionally designed neighbours, in a sparse area on the edge of London and the Green Belt, this unequivocally contemporary home has replaced a dated bungalow, where the clients lived for many years. Photography by Mel Yates


Totteridge House is designed to take advantage of the site’s North-South orientation. The front South side of the house faces the road and is made up of a series of solid volumes, with exaggerated deep window reveals, up to one metre deep. The rear, by contrast, is highly glazed with minimal structure beneath, allowing for uninterrupted views towards the Green Belt land in North Barnet.

It was important to ensure that the South sun, and quality of light, could be enjoyed in the winter. The design is focused on a single depth main family room, which takes advantage of light from both the front and rear. On the first floor, the windows are set deep into their reveals, so as not to overheat during the summer. The clients needed to be able to control the sun-gain without relying on the use of blinds.

The fabric of the building (cladding, flooring & windows) was carefully considered for its quality and longevity. The building’s envelope is built to a high specification, beyond that of many contemporary buildings. Highly-insulated lightweight stud walls infill between a structural steel frame.

Totteridge House is unequivocally contemporary, and contrasts to the surrounding traditional neighbouring properties, yet references the materials of the local area. Built predominantly of brick and timber, these materials are reimagined in a unique way. The waterstruck grey bricks by Petersen Tegl, have variations in colour, and the property features a number of different types of brick detailing in what Gregory Phillips describes as ‘an essay in brickwork’. The property exterior features saw tooth brickwork, where the bricks are laid at a 45 degree angle, creating a striking effect in the sunshine. The garage has the same brick and timber as the property exterior, unifying the look of the house. Elsewhere, brickwork is suspended above a lightweight timber
and glass ground floor. This playful juxtaposition of the construction creates a distinctive and high-quality aesthetic that is used both inside and out.

Green roofs and extensive new planting were implemented to retain and encourage ecological growth on the site.

Internally, the bespoke joinery is an integral part of Totteridge House and is used throughout. Gregory Phillips Architects opted for dark stained oak board with a slip match pattern, which repeats, but is slightly offset between boards. This is featured in a number of different ways, for wall panelling, cupboard doors, the front door, internal doors, shelving and for the staircase handrails and balustrades, unifying the look and feel of the home throughout.

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