Page D1.1 . 18 September 2002                     
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    Wimbledon Park Slim

    by Don Barker

    A house with the unassuming name "84 Arthur Road" has introduced an element of drama to an otherwise sleepy suburb of southwest London. At first glance, the new house seems to contrast sharply with its 1900s-vintage suburban neighbors.

    Wimbledon-based Terry Pawson Architects had to work on a very restrictive site, only 15 feet (4.6 meters) wide, or about the width of one room. Pawson used the natural elements of the site, including a massive oak tree, to blend the tall, thin structure into the neighborhood.

    The house represents a brave and adventurous use of space, for which it won a 2002 design award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

    Challenges to Planning and Design

    Obtaining official approvals could have been difficult, but Pawson worked with local authorities from the beginning of the planning phase and found them receptive to his ideas.

    "We drew a horizontal line from the top of the hill to illustrate how the structure would not be out of scale within the area," Pawson says. "We explained what we were doing and the reasons behind it. We did not have to make any substantial changes." Since its completion, the uncompromising house has become a local celebrity, evoking positive reactions from most passers-by.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    Terry Pawson's 84 Arthur Road, as seen from the street. A massive oak tree helps the RIBA-award-winning house blend with the site.
    Photo: Terry Pawson Architects

    ArchWeek Image

    Raw concrete in the kitchen and dining room are characteristic of the entire ground floor.
    Photo: Terry Pawson Architects

     

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