31/44 Architects has completed Corner House, a speculative development in Peckham, South London comprising a new-build, three-bedroom house, and the conversion of the former end-of-terrace Victorian house into a two-bedroom ground floor apartment and twobedroom maisonette.
Sited prominently on a former garden plot at the junction of two Victorian streets, Corner House is a contemporary interpretation of a typical Victorian suburban townhouse. Built of a grey London stock brick with concrete lintels, it draws on the familiar and established decorative motifs of the Victorian terrace, simplifying these into a sparer minimalist aesthetic.
With a flat roof the new-build continues the cornice line of the regimented three-storey terrace on Talfourd Place, and connects it into the less formal character of the adjoining Denman Road, an eclectic street of different house types. The development reinstates the entrance stair on Talfourd Place, neatly finishing the repetition of stoops along this street. It steps out beyond the established building line with a rounded profile mirroring the line of the pub on the opposite corner. As it turns the corner into Denman Road, the building line drops to two-storeys, forming a rear glazed pavilion screened with dark timber vertical mullions, a homage to Victorian conservatories. The screened pavilion creates a guest bedroom on the first floor, which appears to peek over the ground floor brick and concrete datum. Its cladding is repeated in the upper storey of the rear elevation and on the adjoining side elevation, in a band of timber mullions screening the ground floor kitchen window.
Each small move reinforces the sense of a quietly subversive building to the casual passerby. The entrance stair to the new-build appears conventional until, on closer inspection, you see that the entrance is at the lower level; the upper ground ‘door’ has become a window, and the powder-coated metal porch canopy appears – out of the corner of the eye – as part of the stair. Windows and openings in the new-build reflect those in the existing terrace in size and placement, but are articulated in a contemporary treatment and playfully arranged alongside blind windows on the side elevation.
The new-build house is accessed at ground level and features an open plan kitchen/diner/ living space with direct access to private garden spaces at the front and rear of the property, both protected by the boundary garden wall. The neighbouring ground floor apartment benefits from a bijou court and small rear terrace to bring light into the property. The upper maisonette is reconfigured with the repositioning of the internal stair.
Corner House is the first new-build development project in the burgeoning portfolio of local boutique property developer Sara Mungeam. Sara has carefully styled the interiors of all three properties, affording the same level of care and quality of craftsmanship evident in the architecture to the specified fittings, loose furnishings and outdoor planting.
Informed by its Victorian setting, this conversion and extension quietly reasserts the corner plot with a design that is contextual yet contemporary.
Property developer Sara Mungeam said:
“When I first saw the plot, I immediately spotted its potential. Two rounds of pre-planning applications with the local council, and 31/44’s locally sympathetic yet creative designs were crucial to gaining permission. The combination of bold contextual architecture and calm, cohesive interiors reflecting the aesthetic, era and architecture of each of the different buildings, has proven to be a real selling point for the development.”
Will Burges, Director, 31/44 Architects, said:
“As architects we consider our foremost role is for each project to be a responsible piece of city. As a practice we are deeply interested in how we can densify and repair the city incrementally, on small sites which have been previously overlooked. Corner House is a natural evolution of our Manser Medal winning Red House, another speculative endof-terrace development in South London. As designers we find the constraints of these projects liberating. These kinds of sites always need a lot of care to make a contemporary piece of architecture which is closely woven into the pattern, texture and character of the neighbourhood.”