Kings Langley, England

Site Size: 0.43 acres

Project Size: 2,906 square feet

Program: A couple living in Hertfordshire, England needed a sizeable modern space to house their growing art collection. The pair also sought a sustainable, yet low-maintenance design.

Solution: London-based studio Davy Smith Architects created Mi Casa, a light-filled three-bedroom structure that would include ample gallery space. The two-level house is composed of a narrow, gabled volume (similar to the pitched barns in the surrounding English countryside) adjacent to a smaller one. An entrance hall on the western side of the building opens into a living room with double-height ceilings. Because the clients are avid gardeners, the architects wanted the building to have a strong connection with the outdoors, therefore the kitchen, dining, and living areas open onto an outdoor patio and deck on the eastern side of the house.

Adjacent to the dining space is a glazed, wood-treaded stair with niches for artwork leading to a second floor gallery overlooking the living room. The master bedroom suite—complete with two walk-in closets, and two bathrooms—takes up the majority of the upper level, while a guest bedroom and a gym area occupy the northernmost end.

While the house alludes to vernacular architecture in its shape, the architects gave it a contemporary twist: the black zinc exterior cladding and cool gray interiors are punctuated with splashes of lemon yellow, tangerine, and neon. The minimal structure also has a minimal environmental footprint: a well provides water for the house, and a heat recovery system for more efficient heating and cooling.

Stephen Davy Peter Smith Architects
Fanshaw House, Fanshaw Street, London N1 6HX
T: 020-7739 2020


Private Client

Completion Date:
November 2012

Gross square footage:
270sqm (2906 ft2)

Stephen Davy Peter Smith Architects,
Fanshaw House, Fanshaw Street, London N1 6HX
T: 020-7739 2020

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Director: Peter Smith
Project architect: Clive Seymour

Structural Engineer:
Price and Myers
Paul Toplis / Kevin Williams
30 Newman Street, London, W1T 1LT
020 7631 5128

Mechanical Engineers:
Bawden Burrows, Ian Farquharson, Carmen Lau, (Tom clark - electrics)
7200 IQ Cambridge, Cambridge, CB25 9TL Carmen Lau.
01223 815560

General contractor:
Gary Pooley, 30 Valley Rise, Garston, WD25 7EZ
07903 372004

© Lyndon Douglas Photography
T: 07956 554 132



Exterior cladding
Metal Panels:
Zinc Installer
Alan Gilzean
Metalex Roofing
01708 464700

Zinc Installer
Alan Gilzean
Metalex Roofing
01708 464700

Metal frame:
Phil Buck
I-D Systems
Metalex Roofing
01279 465116

Lewis Edwards
Mtech Architectural
01442 878822

Greg Blake
Tintab Ltd
01273 515155