Kew House

A family home built around an internal courtyard within a conservation area close to Kew Gardens, and set behind the retained walls of the 19th Century brick stable that originally occupied the site.

The site is 18m wide and 10m deep, surrounded by neighbouring gardens. With limited access for construction or maintenance, Corten steel was selected as the primary material. Corten allowed the house to be constructed as large structural modules that could both be lifted into place from within the site and provide a maintenance free façade at the site edge: for this building the structure is the architecture. An exposed steel staircase bridge with a torsionally stiff plywood slide from 1st floor to basement forms a striking internal feature.




The build was completed in phases. In Phase I, a basement under the full extent of the site was constructed, followed by the addition of a primary steel frame spanning 10m across the basement box. In Phase II, the basement box became a factory in which the parts needed for the fit-out could be made. Meanwhile the 4mm Corten steel shells and glazing were manufactured off site before being installed during the second phase. The result of this approach is a highly bespoke and crafted house constructed on a modest budget for its size and complexity.

Completed 2014.

Project Information




Piercy & Co




Jack Hobhouse

Tim Lucas


Surface Design Housing Exterior Award 2016
RIBA Award 2015
RIBA London Award 2015
Structural Steel Design Award, Certificate of Merit 2015
B Architect of the Year Award, Individual House 2014
Blueprint Award, Best Non-public Project 2014
FX Design Award, UK Project of the Year 2014
IStructE Structural Award, Community and Residential winner 2014