Clear Architects’ recent renovation project of a mid-century house at Ducketts Mead, is as neat as you like. Located in Essex, UK, the update was completed by the firm in 2013,
According to Clear’s Associate Director, James Mors, the principal aim of the build was to have the house continue to sit well within its context, maintaining the unique 1960s character of the existing house whilst creating an extension that sits seamlessly.
This involved the introduction of several design features, including adding an external feature stone wall on the extension, changing the windows to picture windows at front and back (so as to offer clean lines aesthetically and visibility to the garden), and over-cladding external walls with timber slats in order to replace the worn out concrete tiles.
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In the surrounding area of the house, there are a cluster of very similar style houses. Therefore, according to Mors, it was very important to ensure the unique setting was not compromised by an overzealous design that was not in keeping with its surrounding context.
Speaking with Mors, it is clear that these priorities for the Duckett’s Mead build align quite closely with his wider aims as an architect, which subordinate a love for modernist design to the specific context of a project.
“I believe creating architecture that is responsive to the site it resides,” Mors told us, “as well as ensuring buildings fully answer a client’s brief is more important than simply creating modernist architecture for the sake of it.”
“Only if both of these two points are executed as a priority is modernistic architecture successful.” This is in itself a rather modernist impulse, wishing to align a building’s form with that of its surroundings. With this kind of attitude from one of its chief architects, and projects like Ducketts Mead, it’s evident that Clear Architects are right on the money.
Photo by Mark Haddawy