The Weather Room Monken Handley

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Architect

LIDDICOAT & GOLDHILL

Structural Engineer

LYONS O’NEILL

Steelwork Contractor

GOODALL SERVICES

Main Contractor

STEPHENS & JAMES

Client

DR & MRS D R GOLDHILL

White Lodge is a Grade II-listed house in Monken Hadley, North London. The oldest parts date to the 17th Century, and inchoate additions and alterations have taken place periodically ever since. The Weather Room is the latest layer added to this historic building. The brief was to reunite disconnected wings of the house and open the building to its extensive gardens.

The form of the new space was dictated by the strictures of working on a listed building in a very tightly controlled Conservation Area. The detail of the construction became the focus, and a close working relationship developed between the architect, the contractor, the engineer and the steelwork contractor. Much time was spent at the steelwork contractor’s workshop, where each component and connection was drawn, prototyped and refined.

The structure of the room is simple; powdercoated steel glazing bars form a portal frame which supports the structural double-glazing over. Steel was chosen to allow very fine (45mm) sight lines through to the garden, while still being capable of bearing people and scaffolding on the roof to allow maintenance of the windows and roofs above.

The glazing bars were hand-made by welding a ‘sandwich’ of bright steel flats together. A narrow rebate was created to the inside of the bars, allowing installation of an adhesive LED light tape. This highly-efficient, lowenergy lighting system solved the conundrum of providing even, atmospheric light in a space with a glazed ceiling without obtrusive luminaries. The resultant effect is of warm ribbons of light glowing from the sharp edge of the steel.

The interior is tempered by the external condition; the structure plays a crucial role in this relationship. By day, it animates the space through the play of light and shadow from the glass and steel flats. As night falls, concealed blades of light within the steel succeed the sun and the space develops an entirely different character.

Judges’ Comment

s:

An elegant gem used for connecting parts of a listed building, and for dining purposes. The light, plated steel frames each carry glazing and LED lighting along the beams and columns in a fully integrated way.

An excellent small example of a sensitive modern addition to an historic setting.