architecture

This partially underground house has a funnel-shaped copper roof

The funnel-shaped copper roof with skylight allows natural light to flow into the house

A funnel-shaped copper roof and an underground pool are the highlights in this fascinating residential building in west London. The building is behind an 1840s brick townhouse in London’s affluent Notting Hill borough. Due to its location, the project by Gianni Botsford Architects was aptly referred to as “House in a Garden”.

A partially underground house with a funnel-shaped copper roof

funnel-shaped copper roof prefabricated daylight into the house

Architect Gianni Botsford lived on the top floor of the townhouse, overlooking a characterless bungalow that had stood behind the property since 2003. So he wanted to make better use of the area. During an eight-year planning and construction process, Botsford and his team dismantled the bungalow and replaced it with a partially underground house with an unusual, funnel-shaped copper roof.

funnel-shaped copper roof with skylight modern house behind old building

The skylight in the roof of the house ensures uniform illumination of the interior. Through the light and the shadow, the tent shape of the roof creates a new place of well-being. As a natural material extracted from the earth, copper also goes well with the idea that much of the home is built underground.

Copper plates on the roof interesting funnel shape contrasting copper tiles

The roof was prefabricated in the Dolomites before being brought into the garden. Its structure, which is made of glued laminated wood, is exposed on the underside and forms a decorative ceiling in the glazed living and dining area. This room also has a kitchen with cupboards, splash guards and all copper fittings.

Headlining and kitchen copper Douglas fir floor living area

Straight wooden stairs lead down to the master bedroom. Here the architect created a green inner garden to prevent the north-facing rooms from looking dark and dingy. Another skylight was integrated into the base of the light shaft to illuminate the 10-meter swimming pool below.

The skylight in the copper roof ensures sufficient natural light inside

Living area lounge mural in XXL format

Adjacent to the pool is what the architects call a gallery-style seating area. In the middle of the room there is a huge sofa that invites you to linger. A large part of the surfaces here was clad with grooved panels made of gray Carrara marble or Douglas fir to give the interior a “sensual quality”.

Skylight in the roof ceiling with wooden paneling wooden coffers

Kitchenette in copper worktop made of Carrara marble

All-glass railing stairs mirrored surfaces copper

straight staircase douglas fir steps carrara marble

Glass wall swimming pool lounge area sofa Douglas fir

Douglas fir ceiling paneling gray upholstered sofa swimming pool glass wall

Douglas fir and Carrara marble glass wall

Shower area with hand shower and Carrara marble wall cladding

Swimming pool in the basement of the house Carrara marble skylight

Swimming pool glass wall swing door view of the garden

View through the glass wall into the inner garden side table

Cross section house underground pool

Cross section plan straight stairs underground pool

Cross section plan narrow house funnel-shaped roof

Cross section plan tent roof of underground house

Cross section town house plan funnel-shaped roof

funnel-shaped roof two floors below ground

underground townhouse cross section

Floor plan ground floor living area with kitchen

first floor underground floor plan

Basement floor plan bedroom garden

Architecture location of the town house plan

Architect: Gianni Botsford Architects (Gianni Botsford, Paulo Martinho, Kate Darby, James Eagle, Hiroshi Takeyama, Anahi Copponex)

Photographer: Edmund Sumner