Sunken House / Adjaye Assocates

© Ed Reeve

Architect: Adjaye Assocates
Location: , England
Year: 2007
Photographs: Ed Reeve

© Ed Reeve

A three storey house in conservation area of De Beauvoir town in Hackney. The site has been excavated to basement level creating a sunken patio on which the house a partly prefabricated solid timber structure is placed.

section 01

One enters the house at street level via parts of the lower ground floor roof which also provide off street car parking. All facades of the house as well as vertical and horizontal surfaces of the concrete patio are clad in timber rainscreen creating the impression of a continuous surface that embraces the enclosed and open spaces.

section 02

The loadbearing structure of the house consists of large section engineered timber panels which have been manufactured off-site therby limiting the on-site construction programme to approximately one week.

Cite: "Sunken House / Adjaye Assocates" 06 Mar 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Sep 2014. <>


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    Amazing how well the color of the facade goes with the bricks of the surrounding houses.

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    While I like the emphasis on a pure form, with all the effort that went into making a clean black box-and the composed glazing is nice too,
    the interiors are banal. With all of Adjaye’s projects, it seems there is one picturesque compositional move that is focused on, to the detriment of all else. It ensures a striking photo per project, but isnt architecture more than that?

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    I agree with ed. The simplicity of form actually works in this project and looks great. An interesting spatial interior WOULD have made this an excellent project.

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    BTW, I’m not sure what’s so sad or depressing about this house. It’s a lovely and precise box. Maybe some people don’t like the lack of decoration and/or objects, but I thought I came to an architecture site. And white clean boxes work great if you are into hoarding stuff. I remember right now a very interesting lecture I attended about Charles Eames’ Case Study House and his love for objects.

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    Agree with Ed. Has a wonderful abstract presence from the street and at the same time sits well with its neighbours. But the inside disappoints. The kitchen felt dark and lifeless; never a place to linger, and the whole brings on feeling so claustrophobia.

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