The British Homes Awards


The winner of this category is a design applied to a pair of houses, Pond House and Park House. The houses sit in a leafy parkside setting, but contrast sharply with the red brick vernacular of leafy Dulwich. The client, Kirk Pickering, had a clear vision for the design. He wanted the houses to appear as a surprise when approached via the 100-metre-long entrance lane and to look like a single house at first glance.

Architect Munkenbeck + Marshall selected a gullwing roof profile for its single, simple shape, and to provide a degree of separation between the twin homes. Each house has approximately 5,000 sq ft of space, five bedrooms, a swimming pool, a similar plan and an atrium at its heart. Huge doors open to the southern gardens and bridges cross the atriums to link bedrooms. The basement pools are formed from contiguous piles.

Above a ground level ridge beam a steel structure has concrete plank floors. The steel structure allows the large cantilevers and cross supports at roof level. The houses are clad in oak, black long format brick, glass and aluminium. The ground floor and terraces are finished in limestone while swimming pool walls and floors are clad in black slate. There was the potential for the large areas of glass in the houses to act counter to high thermal performance. For this reason, each of the houses is considered as two accommodation units enclosing an internal ‘conservatory’.

This is achieved by installing high levels of insulation in the walls. In summer months the central atrium is cooled by drawing night-time air through large ducts positioned below the front and garden terraces. Air is drawn through the ducts by a roof-mounted fan above the atrium and enters the space through floor mounted trench heater grills. Baffles close the duct in winter when warm air then enters the space via trench heaters. In summer a large motorised blind shades the south facing atrium glass. The judges said of the winning design: “The end result is dynamic and intriguing. The design is extremely well considered and detailed.”


Munkenbeck + Marshall
Unit B North Building
Gainsborough Studios
1 Poole Street
N1 5EB
Tel: 020 7033 3130
Contact: Stephen Marshall