A compact tree-top house situated on a sloping site in Highgate Cemetery is surrounded by a nature reserve and a tree-lined lane. The house takes its form from the sloping site. A gently twisting structure, the house opens up towards the winter sun. An overhanging roof canopy controls the summer heat gain. From the top floor terrace a magical, shimmering panorama of London can be seen at night through a veil of trees.
Previously a rental property, we are currently working for the new owners to upgrade the house and convert it to the Passivhaus standard or at least to the Passivhaus Enerphit retrofit standard. This will involve increased insulation, new windows throughout, and new timber facades to the street and to the cemetery, reflecting the unique woodland setting. The open-slot timber facade will conceal numerous bird boxes, making a mini eco-system for people and wildlife together.