Slip House by
Carl Turner Architects


Planks of translucent glass provide the walls for this house in south London designed by architect Carl Turner for himself and his partner (+ slideshow).

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

Positioned amongst a row of traditional Victorian houses, Slip House is a three-storey residence with staggered upper floors that cantilever towards the street.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

"We set out with a simple sculptural form of three cantilevered, or slipped, boxes," explained Turner. "The upper box houses our living space, the middle box houses sleeping and bathing, and the ground box is given over to a multi-purpose space, currently housing our studio."

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

The translucent glass walls extend up to form a parapet around a terrace on the roof, and also surround a set of photovoltaic panels that generate electricity.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

Other sustainable features include a wildflower roof above the ground floor, a rain-water-harvesting system and a ground-sourced heat pump that generates energy.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

Inside the house, the ground floor studio features a moveable study area, comprising a combined desk and shelving unit attached to wheels.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

On the first and second floors, rooms are equipped with inbuilt storage walls, so residents can hide their belongings away behind plywood screens.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

Floors throughout the house are concrete and sit flush against all the walls and fittings.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

Another project we've featured by Carl Turner Architects is the extension to the couple's former home in Norfolk - see it here.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

See more houses on Dezeen »

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

Photography is by Tim Crocker.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

Here's a project description from Carl Turner Architects:

Slip House, Brixton.

Occupying one of four plots forming a gap in a typical Brixton terrace, Slip House constitutes a new prototype for adaptable terraced housing.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

Three simple ‘slipped’ orthogonal box forms break up the bulk of the building and give it its striking sculptural quality. The top floor is clad in milky, translucent glass planks, which continue past the roof deck to create a high level ‘sky garden’.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

Designed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5, it features ‘energy piles’ utilising a solar assisted ground source heat pump creating a thermal store beneath the building. PV’s, a wildflower roof, rain water harvesting, reduced water consumption, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery within an airtight envelope with massive levels of insulation make this one of the most energy efficient houses built in the UK.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

A prototype brownfield development offering dense, flexible, urban living – the house is a vehicle for in-house research into sustainable design, seamlessly integrating the often conflicting aesthetic requirements of architecture and alternative low energy systems. We are working to develop this model for multiple developments and as affordable housing.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

Living and working (‘Living over the shop’) is something that really interests us. We see a prototype new ‘terraced’ house, squeezed into under-utilised city (Brownfield) sites. This flexible type of home can allow for the artisan or home-worker to sub-let or downsize. This can enliven local communities and produce ‘homes’ which create opportunities rather than be dormitories or financial assets. Slip House is flexible and can be used as a single home, studio workspace and apartment, or two apartments.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

The perimeter walls are load bearing, freeing up the internal areas of supporting columns or additional load bearing walls. The house’s open-plan layout ensures that walls / dividers are simple to erect and require minimal construction effort. This aspect of Slip House is not only financially sustainable but also environmentally so, as it helps to ensure the permanence of the overall structure, as minimal modifications can allow the house to adapt to changing lives and living situations indefinitely.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

Our approach was to model the building as a series of simple orthogonal box forms that use the full width of the site. This allows future buildings to simply adjoin the flank walls.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

The house takes the idea of three slipped boxes. The boxes are carefully placed to maximise light and outlook from inside while not intruding on neighbour’s outlook. The shifting planes also break up the bulk of the building and give it its sculptural quality.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

Axonometric diagram

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

Ground floor plan

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

First floor plan

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

Second floor plan

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

Roof plan

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects

Section - click above for larger image

  • Jonathan

    Steven Holl’s Nelson-Atkins Museum meets Marcel Breuer’s Whitney Museum… it’s great!

  • MrJ

    I can see his point, but it’s more than a tad insensitive in that position and a pity he didn’t at least try to echo the height lines of the terrace.

    Shame about that brown garage door – I presume it’s on the plot next door.

    • rohtmuz

      That brown garage door is one of the few nice things in that photograph, blighted by, as McCloud describes it, an ‘Iceberg’.

  • E12

    It’s the same height as the terrace. I think he should have built a pretend Victorian terrace house, to fit in with the street and all. That’s what the Victorians would have done…

    • rohtmuz

      Except it wouldn’t have been pretend. This is architecture that fails to deal with its context. It is an object that could be anywhere!

      Attention to detail is amazing, and it is a very well-detailed house but fails to grapple with any ideas greater than this.

      The section is terrible: three boxes, double-height space apart from the stairs. A missed opportunity to play spatially, apart from minimal boxes.

      • Ralph Kent

        Spot on. The joinery is amazing, but totally OTT. The architecture itself is at best average, verging on poor if you look at the context. This is partially because the glazing forming the guarding to the roof terrace extents up to about 1800mm (I assume to prevent them overlooking their neighbours). Its not like this is the Costas – who wants to go up and sunbathe on a timber deck on top of their house in Brixton with nothing but the sky to look at. In short this house is a massive two-fingered salute to their neighbours.

  • JayCee

    Ground-source heat pump or not, it would be interesting to learn how the issue of basic thermal performance as it relates to UK building control was addressed with the use of the Proflit type material. Aside from the party walls, there seems to be an awful lot of glazed surface. I’m guessing the architects exploited some sort of “live-work” legislation.

    I am also curious to know how they expect to deal with party wall issues above the first floor. They seem to have spent a lot of money on glass cladding which may have to be sacrificed when their neighbour decides to build adjacent.

  • I think it works brilliantly within the street scene and is by far the most interesting thing about it. The Victorians were as revolutionary in their time as this is in ours.

  • Ronia

    Impressive and lovely! It’s a bit of a pitty that “one piece of staircase” doesn’t lead through all the house but anyway, I really like it :)

  • Edward

    Glass house in Brixton? Good luck with that.

  • steef

    If a house is a representation of the inhabitant’s personality, these two sure should be fun to hang around with. The interior echoes a crematorium at most. Rock ‘n roll.

  • sinner

    Seen on grand designs… the inhabitants are adept at minimalism.

  • Nick

    That’s fantastic and great photos by Tim Crocker.

  • I see the house next door is now up for sale. Interesting project but completely insensitive to its location.

  • magnusmann

    How do you clean the gap between the glass cladding and the structure when it fills with insects, vermin and detritus? Looks wonderful now but…

  • This is an interesting building created with innovation and style. With the foresight of blending both living and working space, this seems to be the building of the future where most of us now need to work at home or live near the office. My issue is, however, regarding the maintenance of the glass walls. How often will they have to clean it? Also, how sturdy are the glass doors against intruders and burglars?

  • Sorry to say, but it doesn’t fit in the street at all. Where I come from I don’t even think that architecture wouldn’t have been allowed in such a neighborhood.

  • zif

    GSHP? Only that must have popped the construction cost by 20%! And code level 5 with concrete floor slabs…mmm, who made the overall calcs? Wouldn’t mind living there, though.

  • 1+2-3

    I think it’s a great design, totally disagreeing with all the negative comments! It is a very friendly dwelling and anyone who knows the south London weather (dreary) would surely agree that this house is simply trying to capture all the natural light it can.

    I also fully support this type of design, cutting out all the exterior design extras leaves more for the interior budget, where we do most of our living anyway. And who couldn’t love this interior? It is simple, elegant and airy with its use of glass, metal, cement… and a minimalist use of wood (glad to see the minimal use of wood, wood not being something we should overuse… anyone who respects the planet will agree on this).

    Although it doesn’t echo the general pre-existing design sense on the street who should say it should? Freedom of individuality and expression folks, cheers!