Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture inserts brick and timber mews house into south London lane

Stories Mews in south London by Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture

Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture utilised “the materials of garages and sheds” to create a small two-storey house on Stories Mews in south London.

The architecture studio replaced a 1970s double garage with a home that matches the adjoining properties in scale and materials as the latest stage of the development of a service lane into a residential street.

Stories Mews in south London by Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture

“Stories Mews is not a traditional mews,” explained Cottrell and Vermeulen co-founder Richard Cottrell.

“It has grown up over time and is still developing from small individual developments of garages and sheds into small homes,” he told Dezeen.

“Each new and old scheme works with the same basic constraint of plot size and height, parameters hard-fought by the first projects in the mews.”

Stories Mews in south London by Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture

Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture visited other new homes built on the lane, including MAP House by Sam Architects, and chose to use a combination of bricks and timber to complement these buildings.

“Our project aimed to take inspiration from some of the earlier projects and we were happy to work with a simple palette of brick and timber: the materials of garages and sheds,” said Cottrell.

“Our design did not challenge the constraints but tried to celebrate them with the use of materials, colour and daylight.”

Stories Mews in south London by Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture

While the primary materials were brick and timber the architecture studio added bursts of colour on the building’s soffits, front door and steelwork.

“Wherever possible we used brick to mediate between our neighbours, and timber, exposing timber joists for extra height, plywood for linings, storage and staircase, and bold squares of black stained waney edged board on the elevations,” said Cottrell.

“Colour is introduced to highlight soffits with a yellow polycarbonate light fitting at the front and painted soffits and steels in yellow and pink.”

Stories Mews in south London by Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture

The ground floor of the six-metre-wide home contains a carport and the home’s living and dining room, which opens onto an enclosed brick courtyard.

There are two bedrooms and a study on the floor above.

Stories Mews in south London by Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture

Throughout the project, Cottrell and Vermeulen aimed to introduce large amounts of light into the 98-square-metre home.

The main living space opens onto a small courtyard, skylights are placed above the stairs main bedroom and bathroom. The study and bedroom at the rear of the house both have small balconies.

“Our main aim was to use light to expand the tight footprint of the plot,” said Cottrell. “The simple moves create a variety of possibilities for inhabitation and expansion of spaces to create a flexible small home.”

Stories Mews in south London by Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture

London-based Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture was founded by Cottrell and Brian Vermeulen in 1992.

Along with MAP House by Sam Architects, other recently completed modern mews houses in London include a house with monochrome interiors and rustic details in Primrose Hill designed by Threefold Architects, a two-storey mews in Hackney renovated by Hutch Design and a home set behind wooden louvres on a mews near Hyde park.

Photography is by Anthony Coleman.


Project credits:

Architect: Cottrell and Vermeulen Architecture
Client: Private
Structural engineer: Engineers HRW
M&E engineer: OR Consulting
Main contractor: Onyx Investment
Building control: Approved Inspector Services
Party wall surveyor: Set Square Surveyors
CDMC: The Quoin Consultancy

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