Valhalla - Denizen Works

Following a competitive interview in 2015, Denizen Works was selected to renovate the tired-looking façade of a modernist house in Highgate.

valhalla-denizen-works-3In such a neighbourhood, a striking proposal was required, one that reflected the urban context and transformed the appearance of the home – all within a depth of 320 mm.

Inspiration was drawn from the clients’ fascination with the macabre: close to Highgate Cemetery, the house is christened ‘Valhalla’, and displays topiary tombstones on its roof terrace.


While the mirrored façade of the neighbouring property celebrates the living trees of Waterlow Park, this scheme uses ‘traumatised’ wood, made as dead as possible with a blackened, charred finish.

Echoing the vertical rhythm of the trees, the new elevation is composed of a series of English Larch glulam fins, attached to the façade using bespoke galvanised ‘top-hat’ brackets, developed with the engineer.

Individually charred, each timber fin bears the nuances of a hand-crafted surface, cracked like crocodile skin.


Images © Ben Blossom