New London Architecture

Walter works!: The Segal House

Thursday 13 May 2021

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David Taylor

Editor, NLQ and New London Weekly

‘It was really about being really rigorous with everything that they used to create that extension’ – Karen Stylianides, Editor, Grand Designs and Don't Move, Improve! 2021 Judge. 


The Segal House by Fraher & Findlay is the winner of the Environmental Leadership Prize. The extension follows the construction ideals of the original house, which was designed following architect Walter Segal's self-build methods. The Environmental Leadership prize, sponsored by Airflow, is awarded to the project that exhibits thought leadership for environmental considerations such as long-life design, sustainable materials and energy efficiency.

The design in Forest Hill looks to create a negative imprint of the building by inverting the panelled colour cladding. Profiled metal sheets form a rain screen cladding, with electric blue window apertures contrasting to the black extension. A wildflower roof caps off the building within its green setting. A dynamic staircase sits within the building, providing a studio, den, storage and reading space. The extension to the living spaces is a wedge that although narrow (1.2m wide in parts) significantly enhances the quality of the existing house.
 
The Segal House is a clever project to enlarge one of the classic Segal Houses in Forest Hill by extending below the single-storey structure – creating a negative imprint of the original, switching the blue window frames and black cladding and creating a new entrance into the scheme. 
Once inside, the extension (approved on appeal by Lewisham planners) is a wedge or cone shape, broadening from 1.2m to 2m and including a big picture window with views out over south east London. A new, broader, double height-space includes a ‘dynamic’ stair leading from the living room down to new spaces below, with extensive storage space along the way. These new spaces are a home studio and kids’ den tucked under the existing single storey building, capitalising on the topography of the site and connecting to the garden beyond.
Working with the grid structure of the original building, the architects’ design of the extension has allowed the dining space and kitchen space to flow better and feel more spacious, all the while using a self-build approach with the hands-on client. A sustainable approach extended to reusing doors and using readily available, off the shelf products, clay plaster on the walls, a green roof, timber where possible and minimising waste.


Lizzie Webster, Design Director at Fraher and Findlay and homeowners Celine and Taran


COMMENT FROM THE SPECIAL PRIZE SPONSOR

Airflow are delighted to support the Environmental Prize for the Don’t Move Improve initiative. We are passionate supporters of improving Indoor Air Quality in buildings and strive to produce energy efficient means of ventilation and heat recovery solutions. To see these fantasic projects introduce so many sustainable design measures, low carbon materials and increased ventilation in line with airtightness standards, is great for the industry. Thank you to NLA for showcasing these projects.


COMMENTS FROM THE JUDGES AND HOMEOWNERS

The Judges:

‘I like the way the client got involved and recycled things’ – Tom Foxall

‘It was really about being really rigorous with everything that they used to create that extension’ – Karen Stylianides, Editor, Grand Designs

The Homeowners:

“It’s hard to say which part we enjoyed most. Each of the stages were so interesting and different. I guess our favourite part of the project is living in our house now and enjoying it every day.”
 
“Lizzie and her team understood straight away that the essential thing we wanted to do was to extend – we were trying to think of what Walter Segal would have done to extend this house and the main thing in the brief was just to carry on his method but obviously with what we would do and what’s available nowadays’

The Architect:

The extension was an opportunity to connect the living spaces with the garden in a more seamless route’, Lizzie Webster, Design Director, Fraher and Findlay

‘What they did really well was to put themselves into Walter Segal’s way of thinking. Proportionally it’s a small extension but using the height and the full space available within the garden has really worked’ 
WHO ARE THIS YEAR'S JUDGES?

TEAM CREDITS

Architect
Fraher and Findlay Architects

Engineer
Constant Structural Design

Contractor
Kris Building Services

Photographer
Taran Wilkhu

PROJECT INFORMATION

Status
Built

Borough
Lewisham

Size
140 sqm

Completion
2020

VIEW THIS YEAR'S SHORTLIST
FOLLOW DON'T MOVE, IMPROVE! ON INSTAGRAM
ABOUT DON'T MOVE, IMPROVE!

David Taylor

Editor, NLQ and New London Weekly


Don't move, Improve

#DontMoveImprove

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