House of Reflection

YARD Architects

House of Reflection is a new build, two storey house on a tight urban site within the Westbourne Conservation Area in Westminster.

The building replaced a small house which had stood on the site since the 1980s. The concept behind the new house was to reinstate the garden wall which would originally have been found here and site the house discretely behind the wall. The house is almost entirely inward looking, an unexpected escape from the busy city outside. The use of mirrors and high-level glazing creates tantalising glimpses of the outside world, a passing cloud, a reflection of a nearby building, a glimpse of tree canopy. Using a restrained palette of materials the house creates a feeling of seclusion and calm, enhanced by the shafts of sun light which are invited in though the lantern roof. In the centre of the house is the courtyard, around which everything is wrapped, focused on the single acer tree and climbing plants in the centre; an oasis in the heart of the city. Challenges faced included ensuring there was no loss of light to adjoining neighbours, having to relate well to the large adjacent Victorian villas, and the site being awkwardly out of alignment with the general building line. The completed house offers an escape from the busy city, designed to create a sense of calm and tranquillity through the use of light and materials, a home for living and a place for reflection.