Aubrey Walk, 2001-2007
We intended to buy the low cottage on this site and to build instead a house more in proportion to the adjacent houses, but passed it instead to Nick Hill, who was looking for such a project, on condition that I could build the house we visualised, adjusted as it may be to his wishes.
The French village Mairie is often distinguished in its façade, which may be hardly more imposing in bulk than that of a normal village house, by a mounting up on a façade with a centralised axis, of a number of available classic distinguishing features, starting with an elaborated entrance, and over it, items such as a flagpole, a niche, a balcony, a cupola, an oriole, a shield, a pinnacle, a gable peak, a lamp, a clock, a bell, a belvedere ….
Anyway, a version of the dignifying axial build up on the façade was used in this design without, admittedly, a shred of justification. Instead of a heraldic shield, a burglar alarm was placed over a balcony, a little lamp over an oriole, etc. The planners liked the double height entrance design, with an internal balcony at the first floor landing allowing it. The client went forward with the construction without the architect, during which everything important was watered down, distorted or obviated, including the one thing the planners had liked and which had clinched planning permission.
Client: Nick Hill.
Architects: Michael Gold Architects.