Ditton Hill House – a new 250 m² detached house – subtly references its suburban vernacular neighbours. While at first glance the house appears almost traditional, it is gradually revealed to be thoroughly and unashamedly contemporary.
The brief from the client was for an overtly industrial house, set within the epitome of a residential setting. To achieve this, one of the key design moves Surman Weston borrowed was the suburban mock-Tudor framed language typical of the surrounding area and to reinterpret it in a contemporary way, as an exposed exoskeletal steel frame.
The strength of the steel frame allowed the structural members to be thinned down into an elegant grid and enabled large column-free spaces internally. The rigidity of the frame contrasted with slurried brick infill panels, another nod to the mock-Tudor style, adding texture and softness to the exterior.
Exposing the external structural steel frame presented significant detailing challenges in terms of weather exposure, thermal performance and achieving the required high-quality aesthetic. As a result, the external exoskeletal steel frame was galvanized and painted to match the mock-Tudor effect.
Read more about the 2020 duplex award winner