MAP Architecture was asked to design and oversee the extension and full-house refurbishment for this locally-listed, self-built, timber-frame "Segal House" in south-east London.
We worked closely with the clients themselves - who carried out the majority of the construction work - as well as with Jon Broome, who assisted renowned architect Walter Segal on the original house in the 1980s.
Segal inspired a generation of self-builders and architects with a socialist approach to building your own home. The street on which the house sits was built out entirely by the original occupiers, facilitated by the local council who could not afford to develop the site using traditional methods. That collective spirit remains - and has been described by some street residents as "a virus that is impossible to avoid!"
Jo and Justin caught the bug upon moving into the house as "second generation" Segalists and soon found that the much-loved home had reached a point in its life-cycle where repairs and adaptations were needed to keep it fit for modern life.
This included "pushing out" the original panelised construction to create larger rooms, renewing the roof to fix leaks, replacing (and moving) windows to improve privacy and accessibility to the lush garden, and adding a thick layer of environmentally-friendly insulation around the entire building to minimize drafts and keep the heat in. Materials were chosen to be as "natural" as possible - with woodfibre insulation chosen over more toxic plastic-based products, and EPDM rubber roofing over oil-based bitumen.
Luckily the original "Segal approach" was one based on practicality and flexibility - with timber framing and "dry" construction prefered over the more complicated "wet trades" of concreting and masonry. This meant that with the right support, anyone could build the homes regardless of existing skill level - and that improvements can be carried out with relative ease.
Jo and Justin wanted to take this approach into the refurbishment - which again utilises timber for the structural frame and cladding, with the minor elements of more challenging work undertaken with the help of a local builder. Costs were managed informally by the clients - which meant they could carry out the work in "packages" as and when they were ready.
We're super impressed with the build quality that Jo (an art teacher) and Justin (a film-maker) have achieved and love how the refurbished home is full of warmth and light.