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  • Robert Barker

The Rusty House

Updated: May 6

Stolon Studio transforms neglected back-land site in south London with a cinematic two-storey house.

Local authorities have previously rebuffed attempts to develop this backland area made up of garages and workshops, however, Stolon Studio’s sensitive yet beautiful design for a two-story house’ proved exceptional enough to gain planning permission.


Having seen the previous project Forest Mews, in neighbouring Forest Hill, a client commissioned the team to design them a new family home. With an awareness of the difficult nature of the situation, Robert Barker and his team designed a courtyard house that creates its own views within an uninspiring environment. A centralised courtyard and modern geometric designs creates an interesting and playful living environment.


On the first floor, screened perforations turn an unattractive view into a fragmented display of miniature vignettes.


The site falls within the Brockley conservation area and so design plans were requested by the Design Review Panel to be examined. The Design Panel deemed the plans successful in handling the main architectural issues of the environment, whilst also praising the bold and imaginative nature of the designs, claiming that they have the ‘potential to breath life into an apparently unloved mews’.


The design remains conscious and sensitive to its environment both internally and externally, creating a distinctive design that proves a great re-use of an under-used backland site.


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