The property

This new-build modern home in South East London was built by Gruff for their director Rhys and his young family.

Spanning 1,631 square feet, the four-bedroom family home incorporates a lot of clever design ideas that Gruff architecture studio have learned over the years.

Located in a conservation area and bounded on one side by a railway cutting, the site posed many design and logistical challenges. The first floor is clad in black timber boards and is pitched 10 degrees away from the boundaries in order to diminish the perceived mass of the building from the neighbouring gardens.


The structure

A technically challenging and tight back land site, the plot became known to the practice as the yard of a local builder, with whom Gruff had worked on numerous projects previously.



With glazing only on the side and rear elevations, and no windows on the front elevation helps to privacy from the rear of the neighbouring houses. The property’s main view is of the tree-lined railway cutting. With no immediate buildings in this direction, this offers the house a panoramic vista of ‘private green space’; a rare commodity in a built-up suburban area of London.

Meanwhile, a contiguous piled concrete basement offers additional living space and a guest bedroom.



The property's entrance is tucked away down the side of the structure.


Ground floor

Once inside, there's an open-plan kitchen, dining and living space, with views out to the garden.



Whimsical, fun and, at times suitably indulgent, the project has brought together collective ideas from the whole office, and was a great opportunity to test and execute a variety of ideas developed throughout the practice’s history.

The property is full of carefully considered details, from the modern banister that creates a safe staircase while also keeping a sense of open space, to the smaller details like the light switches, and the door handle on the pocket door under the stairs.

Kitchen area

The L-shaped kitchen features a galley-style kitchen to the side, and a small kitchen island at the centre, complete with breakfast bar – making this a sociable space.



Although small, every detail was carefully considered. We love the wood carving in the wine glass shelf, and the terrazzo countertops.



Through the main living space is a garden, with a semi-circle shape, and a modern border fence.




At ground level there's also a cosy snug, with a corner sofa and TV.




A small courtyard acts as a light-well to allow for natural daylight, and creates a more interesting view.


Upstairs, the sloped walls are highlighted with clever design details like the sloped windows that create interesting vignettes.


A half wall of storage divides the bedroom from a spacious walk-in bathroom. The bookcase wall incorporates a horizontal window into the bathroom space, framing the garden view beyond.



But the walk-in shower remains private, and out of sight from the bedroom. A monochrome colour palette and black bathroom taps give this master bathroom a thoroughly modern feel.