Elektra House, London
Adjaye Associates 

Elektra House, London

Adjaye Associates 


The east end is one of the London quarters where the old factory constructions coexist with rows of Victorian houses and apartments of the sixties whose low prices have attracted both emigrants and artists. A couple of this last group whose loft had become too small for a growing family, wanted to transform the old belt factory they used as a studio into a container which could at the same time serve as dwelling and workplace. Adhering to the limits of the plot, the project follows the permitral walls of the existing building and introduces a metallic structure to support the roof and a second floor that will extend the habitable surface.

The house is thereby put forward as a house inside another, concealed to the street behind a window less facade. Without revealing its domestic character, the building rounds off the residential row it belongs to with an abstract plane formed by resin plywood boards as those commonly used in formworks, and whose format reproduces that of the windows and the neighboring constructions. Not even the door – open to the end of the small alley which is aligned with one of the laterals of the parcel – deliberately interrupts this hermetic surface, which in the interior conceals a double-height void topped by a roof skylight. A second similar void covers the opposite facade, which opens to the south by way of a large clerestory. The space of the lower ground floor – thought of as a flexible environment for living and working – it flows upwardly along the two main facades, without direct views towards the exterior but with indirect and constant light coming in through the skylight and the clerestory. The box containing the three bedrooms and the bathroom on the upper floor is suspended between both voids. Except for the tainted glass window shared by the two larger bedrooms, the upper floor – as the rest of the house –, lacks views onto the street , but per the client’s request it has a series of roof skylights pointed in various directions which bring light of different chromatic temperature into each room.

Due to the reduced budget of the project – 80,000 pounds – the materials were cut down to a minimum. A continuous concrete paving fits out the ground floor as a working place, extending itself on the fixed bench which defines the dining corner. The plasterboard of the walls, the glass of the windows and the wood used on the staircase and the upper floor paving complete a building in which life precedes constructional display...[+]


Arquitecto Architect
David Adjaye

Consultores Consultants
Price & Myers (estructura structure)

Fotos Photos
Lyndon Douglas