Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - Architecture -

Small, spar­tan and beau­ti­fully formed is Hid­den House in Clerkenwell, above and right, de­signed by Cof­fey Architects (cof­fe­yarchi­tects.com). It sits on a small plot, pre­vi­ously the site of a care­taker’s shed, a one-storey house above the for­mer prison vault of what was the Clerkenwell House of De­ten­tion.

It is sim­ple, ele­gant and im­mac­u­lately de­tailed. With open­ings only on its north-east and north-west sides, it is sur­pris­ingly light and open in­side, thanks to pre­cisely placed roof vaults giv­ing views up to the more dec­o­ra­tive Vic­to­rian school next door. Keep­ing it sim­ple and mak­ing the most of ev­ery bit of land, while tak­ing care to use high- qual­ity ma­te­ri­als and care­ful de­sign, seem the most use­ful lessons de­vel­op­ers and house­builders might take from this year’s crop of awards.

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