Located on Finchley Road in Camden – one of the busiest streets in London – this five-storey private house slots neatly into a gap site in a tough urban setting. The proposed design is not intended to reference the larger scale buildings around it but rather offer a decorative element to an otherwise bland context.
Autor worked with Berlin-based artist Michael Taubenheim to develop a façade ‘mesh’ that is inspired by the principle of the traditional Moroccan window, which artfully screens the occupants inside while presenting a beautiful aspect to the outside world. This approach is partnered with a Japanese collage technique of laying stripes of plate gold to create patterns in a random yet organised fashion. The facades have been carefully modulated to take advantage of the spaces between the metal to create a network of windows, air ventilation and solar panels. This approach helps to mediate between the constraints brought about by noise, pollution and the overlooking of other properties.
Internally, the 200 sqm house features rooms that have been rationally stacked on top of one another. When the lights in different rooms are turned on at night, the house will take on a new role in public life of an artwork covered in everchanging pattern, gleaming like a jewel.