Whitaker Malem, the creative masterminds behind the incredible film costumes of Harry Potter and Batman, live in a home that’s unlike any other. The artist duo commissioned architecture firm Hayhurst and Co to design and build the Garden House, a beautiful home, gallery, and studio in London that’s been tapped for the 2016 RIBA House of the Year award longlist. The most striking feature of the home is its ziggurat-like roof that supports 800 sedums, heathers, flowers, and herbs, creating a beautiful and accessible garden in the sky.
The exquisite Garden House was built to replace Whitaker Malem’s former one-story live-work unit located in a small 85-square-meter lot tucked behind Victorian housing. Desirous of more space and access to natural light, the clients turned their self-built home over to Hayhurst and Co, who added a second level and a steeply stepped roof with metal planters filled low-maintenance plants and white pebbles in a set up described by the architects as a bespoke “hanging-basket.” The ziggurat-like roof and its triangular-sectioned, stainless steel planters blend in with the roof profiles of the surrounding buildings.
“Devised as three different roof pitches, the design creates a ‘form of best fit’ – a negotiation between maximising internal accommodation and protecting adjacent residential amenity,” write Hayhurst and Co. “Garden House sets a model of how to maximise residential accommodation in sensitive inner city areas whilst meeting national and local planning policies.”
Since the Garden House is enclosed on all four sides by other properties, the architects relied on skylights to bring natural light into the home. The ground floor comprises the main living areas, including an open-plan living room, dining room, and kitchen; bedroom; bathroom; and a tiled entryway called the Winter Garden. A folded steel staircase leads up to a spacious art studio that opens up to an outdoor terrace and roof garden.
Images via Hayhurst and Co