Spruce House and Studio is a new-build home and self-contained garden studio constructed from cross-laminated timber (CLT) on an infill site in Walthamstow, East London.
The project is located in a conservation area, situated on what used to be the village high street. Referencing the historic origins of the site and neighbouring properties, we questioned ‘what is a contemporary residential shop front’. This led to the development of the front façade’s proportions, alignment, and full width glazing with timber privacy screens across the ground floor.
Replacing an existing 1960’s infill that was in poor condition with no salvageable elements, led to the design of a home that minimised its carbon footprint through all aspects of its construction. The primary structure is built using CLT for its environmental performance credentials and aesthetics as an exposed internal finish.
The design approach for Spruce House and Studio focused on creating generous open spaces within a traditional Victorian footprint through layering, reduction and embedding of multiple functions within interior elements. The Ground Floor is lowered placing the occupants’ level with the garden, whilst the built-in joinery conceals multiple functions allowing seamless views throughout. The staircase is composed of individual interlocking treads that allow light and air to pass through the steel perforations from the openable skylight above.
Conceived as a mini masterplan, the studio at the end of the garden is constructed using the same façade principles as the main house. A peaceful and carefully cultivated garden links the house and studio.