Project: Slip House
Architect: Carl Turner Architects
Location: Brixton, London (UK)
The Slip House is a personal project made by the architect Carl Turner and his minimalist designer wife, Mary Martin. In the Southern neighbourhood of London, this house stands out from the continuity of Victorian houses surrounding it. The translucent cubic residence is, in addition, a sustainable design due to its higly-efficient energy use and its sophisticated environmental response.
The start of this project, and one of its most highlighted features, is the economic side of it. The architectural firm bought a thirties house in a slender and narrow site for $475,000; made a housing project and sold it for $500,000 with only half of its initial garden. The other half of the garden - being got basically for free - will be site for this other residential project: the Slip House.
Being enclosed by planks of translucent glass as walls, the three-storey residence is built by cantivelered upper floors. Those "slipped boxes" are strategically placed to make the most of the site's narrowness, sun penetration and exterior views.
Apart from being the residence of the couple, in the ground floor Carl Turner Architects studio can be found. Making it a multi-purpose space, its flexibility gives this project a higher level of complexity.
However, its most relevant characteristic is sustainability, as it is designed to Code for Sustainable Homes level 5. The list of sustainable features one can find within this project are:
- Ground-source heat pump (thermal storage beneath)
- Soakaway front yard as rainwater harvesting system
- PVT (solar plus voltaic) panels
- Windflower roof
- Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery
- Massive levels of insulation
Its traditional surrounding condition makes this project's exterior aesthetics highlight among its qualities. The milky, translucent glass panels used as cladding makes this material and its greenish color strike in the neighbourhood. Called U-glass due to its section, this material has translucent properties as well as a textured surface with high levels of ridigity. This waterproof skin of Linit glazed vertical panels has an even milky-coloured enamel finish, which provides its unique overlook.
For more information about the entire process, design and philosophy behind this project, there is a very complete episode on the Brittish program Grand Designs (s12e03). Here is the link to the entire 45min-documentary: