Fitzroy Park

London, United Kingdom


Stanton Williams

Edmund Sumner


RIBA London Award, 2015

Architecture + Environment

Fitzroy Park is a family home in North London within the Highgate Conservation Area, designed to dissolve the boundaries between inside and outside. Nestled into the sloping site, large areas of glazing allow views out from the double height volume to the lower garden, while an upper level cantilevers out to float amongst the tree canopies.

Our lighting design is focused on preserving these views as darkness falls.

Glass, employed to promote transparency by day, has potentially the opposite effect after dark when a reflection of the bright interior can transform it into a ‘mirror’. Drawing inspiration from pioneering lighting designer Richard Kelly’s treatment of the Philip Johnson Glass House, we designed a solution that would preserve the sense of transparency at the heart of the design. An array of downlights is neatly integrated into the external overhang to illuminate the ground plane immediately outside the glazed wall. By creating higher luminance values outside than those of the interior, the eye is able to visually penetrate the glass.

Careful landscape lighting reinforces the visual connection with the outside. Lighting to the path edges and boundary fences creates depth of field, while mature trees are uplit to frame the views and prevent the perception of dark corners.

Internally we created layers of light. Key vertical surfaces including the perimeter walls of each space are lit, offering a bright welcoming surface and a positive transition as you move through the house.

In the bedrooms we created a soft ambiance using only reflected light. Integrated details designed to respect Stanton Williams' clean minimal architectural language conceal the equipment within the joinery, creating the sensation that the building glows, lantern like, from within.

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