Paul Archer Design


Aperture House

A new-build home in Islington organised around a secret courtyard.


On the site of what was once a domestic garage, the plot was surrounded by brick walls along three-quarters of the boundary. With such a unique plot of land, the challenge for this build was to ensure privacy while also guaranteeing the home would enjoy the qualities of spacious interiors and abundant natural light.

I have loved working with everyone at Paul Archer Design and feel very lucky to be working with them on a second project. They thoughtfully consider every detail from the client’s initial brief. From the concept designs through to the completion of my home I felt I was listened to, not just as a client but as a collaborator too. Owner, Aperture House

Project description

Specific parts of the site have been lowered to bring height and depth to the interiors, resulting in much of the house being obscured from street level.

Constructed in concrete to retain the existing boundary brickwork, the ground floor stretches the length of the plot and offers generous living space, along with two separate outdoor courtyards. On the upper level, the first floor has been constructed in a timber frame and wrapped in a distinctive cladding of Funton Old Chelsea Yellow brick—forming a visual connection to the other properties on the street. On the street-facing boundary wall, we included an aluminium shadow gap detail to distinguish the new brickwork from the old.

Unlike the original houses on the street, windows at the rear of the property were not possible due to the plot being overlooked on all sides. To solve this, we designated the more private spaces of the home on the street-facing side of the plot.

Although the site was constrained in size, we were careful not to let the interior spaces be impacted by this. With a completely open plan design, the home also enjoys plenty of height thanks to the stepped level changes, with the main living space being the tallest room of the house at three metres.

Aperture House is a perfect example of how a potentially complex plot of land can be transformed into a home where living in private harmony is achieved.

Material design

The exterior facade is unique in its appearance, with Funton Old Chelsea Yellow brick perforated in a staggered pattern—serving as both an ingenious privacy screen while also forming unique patterns on the interior when sunlight floods through.


After GIFA
90 sqm
£5,646 / sqm
B&A Woodworking
Structural Engineer
Hardman Structural Engineers
Interior Design
Zoe Works Indoors
Kilian O'Sullivan

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