Covert House hides in plain sight
In a bid to reduce the visual impact of a modern family home located within a conservation area in London, local architecture firm DSDHA sunk half of the residence into the ground and covered much of the rest with glass and mirrors. The result is a partially camouflaged building suitably named Covert House, which also boasts sustainable features that include rainwater collection and solar panels.
The two story family residence was completed in 2014, and is located in Clapham Old Town, London. Presumably, the local definition of a conservation area can't be too strict if an unusual modern home can be built within it, but by sinking Covert House into the ground, DSDHA certainly reduced its visual impact for the occupants of surrounding residences.
Measuring 135 sq m (1,453 sq ft), the interior decor of Covert House is beautifully brutal and dominated by unfinished cast concrete, which contrasts with stark white detailing in a way captured particularly well by famed architectural photographer Hélène Binet. Plenty of natural daylight is on offer thanks to well-placed skylights, and the exterior also sports the same white finish in places, in addition to the glazing.
As of writing, DSDHA hasn't yet got back to us with our request for detailed information, but Covert House's sustainable technology includes a rainwater harvesting system, solar panels, and a heat recovery system. In addition, its sunken profile helps maintain a steady interior temperature in the lower part of the house, and the firm states that the home's environmental performance is in line with the exacting Passivhaus standards.
Covert House is shortlisted for a RIBA housing award.