A generous wedge-shaped site in the tree-lined streets of Brighton provides the setting for Brighton House, recently completed by InForm.
The clients, who hold a longstanding relationship with InForm dating back many years, came with a brief that maximised the lifestyle potential of the property for their growing family. Architects, and frequent InForm collaborators, Pleysier Perkins were engaged on the project and immediately sought to work with, not against, the unusual wedge shape of the site. By considering the property from boundary to boundary, the decision was made to utilise the larger north-west space, which includes the front garden, as the main outdoor living area. This included the pool and resulted in the house footprint being pushed as far to the rear and south of the property as local planning regulations would allow. In so doing, the front garden is activated as the main outdoor living area and sits off the main internal living area.
On stepping into the property, one is greeted by cement render external walls on concrete blocks. The use of natural cement render was determined early in the design process and affords the interiors a calming acoustic quality, essential for a house with three young children. Entry into the house is via a large pivot door, which opens to a long perspective to the rear of the property. A concrete wall runs the length of the circulation spine on one side and opens to the focal point of the house – an open plan kitchen, dining and living space with double height void – on the other.
As Pleysier Perkins director Simon Perkins explains, “space and light, perhaps the two most important ingredients in a home, are amplified in this project with the double-height void over the living area and the double-height north glazing. This will bring an abundance of light all year round, tempered as required by the external louvres.” Accentuating this space is a matched double-height concrete chimney on the opposite wall of the living room, emphasising the height variation throughout the living area and drawing the gaze up with its vertical gesture.
Zoning decisions become more apparent as one journeys into the home. To the rear of the ground floor is a dedicated children’s courtyard garden. Invisible from the public spaces, it sits off a secondary rumpus room, allowing for the kids to create mess without it compromising the rest of the ground floor or main garden. Meanwhile, the upper floor includes bedrooms only, as a more colourful interior palette takes hold, especially evident in the children’s rooms. Looking outside, a thin black steel fascia and timber-battened sunshade wraps the building, protecting the glass and concrete beneath. Simon explains that externally, the building is a celebration of minimalist sculptural quality, as monochromatic concrete walls, large areas of glass and black steel elements make up the visual whole of the building.
For homeowner Peter Angelini, he explains how the ease in building a new home with InForm has been matched only by the enjoyment of the house itself since moving in. “I’ve had a longstanding relationship with InForm. I’ve seen the quality of their builds and I’ve seen the very seamless process (with which they operate). We knew we wanted to build a house, but we didn’t want to go through a lot of the pain points,” Peter tells. “We’re novices and we knew we had to team up with people who were experts and we felt comfortable the whole way. We still pinch ourselves when we come home and realise how beautiful it is and how it sits so well in the street.”
Zoning decisions become more apparent as one journeys into the home.
For Simon, the most rewarding aspect of Brighton House was the close relationship shared with the clients throughout, noting that although both InForm and Pleysier Perkins were grateful for the bond shared with the clients, it did create an added sense of pressure. “We were obviously very anxious that they would love the result of our collaboration” he admits, before explaining what it is about Brighton House that brings him such satisfaction. “We’re very proud of the architecture, obviously, but most importantly it’s a family home reflecting their taste, their values and their priorities.”