De Syllas House

Architect and client Lighting design

First House, Dartmouth Park Road in London, was built by the architect Justin De Syllas for his own use, and shows a careful use of daylighting in informing the space.

The house is placed across the front of the site, which measures 15 by 15m and has been designed to provide a strong street presence, and to create a wide south facing facade to a garden at the rear.

The architect's stated ambition to provide a large open-plan living area, full of space and light, was the main motivation for the design for the house, leading to the first floor living room, with its open plan covering the entire area save the void for the double height to the dining room below.

The living area is associated with a wide terrace along the entire length of the building, connected tothe living area by means of full height windows to the south with low level sills. Tothe north a large window located above the front door ensures that natural light enters the space from different directions, ensuring sunlight penetration at all times of the day.

The dining/kitchen is a double height space, with an open tread stair leading up to the first floor; it has a large bay window which connects to a dining patio. The combination of the bay window at low level and a large rooflight above gives the double height space its naturally lit quality at both levels.

The bedrooms, bathroom and study are located below the living room. These rooms are slightly raised over a basement, so that the main bedroom and study have french windows overlooking the garden; and the spare bedroom and bathroom have small windows overlooking the street, just above eye level to give privacy.

The house is provided with a number of energy saving measures not least of which are its daylighting credentials. The area of glazing to the south is considerable, providing solar heating in the winter, with limited window area to the north to conserve heat. At no time would artificial light be required during the day. The windows to the south are controlled by external awnings against solar gain and all may be opened to achieve summer ventilation.

First floor plan

Cross section


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