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CASE STUDY


STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER HOME


When a couple decided to build their Beatles-inspired ‘forever’ home in a north London suburb, the speed at which their kit home took shape left them suitably impressed. Roseanne Field reports


The home, by Baufritz, is deceptive, being a modest two stories at the front, and four at the back


FACING PAGE


The house has a sunken terrace which allows light into the basement level


LOW POINT


Mrs Young: “The only low point was how long it took us to get the planning through”


F


rom the street, Mr and Mrs Young’s house, while far from unimpressive, doesn’t stand out as being dramatically different from the other fairly modest detached houses it sits alongside. But view it from the bottom of its rear garden, and it reveals what an architectural achievement it really is. The house – built by German kit home specialist firm Baufritz – sits within a conservation area, and so its somewhat understated appearance at the front was largely dictated by the brick and tile houses of the suburban locale. When the couple bought the site, the house sitting on it was in “an incredibly poor condition”. The Youngs both work in construction so were not daunted by building, and they had always talked about building their own home. With the incumbent house in such a run-down state, it seemed the perfect opportunity for them to fulfil


22 www.sbhonline.co.uk


their dream; there was just the small matter of purchasing the site and demolishing the house before they could get on with their own construction.


Although the ‘kit home’ method would turn out to be the perfect solution, they almost didn’t go down that route. “We spoke to architects about doing a traditional build,” explains Mrs Young. “But,” she continues, “we decided there was just no contest.” They looked at various kit home providers but found in some cases it could be a struggle to achieve what they wanted. “It was much more regimented, for example the floor to ceiling height was fixed or the front of the house was a regimented style,” she says. “Because our house is in the middle of a normal suburban street, we needed the front to be subtle.” It was in fact an episode of Grand Designs that introduced them to Baufritz and led them to


september/october 2018


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