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Nightingale House, Belsize Park, London

The house was designed by Hugh Cullum and Richard Nightingale and built between 1984 and 1988 at a cost of about 60 000. It occupies the previously empty space between the side of a semi-detached Victorian villa and its garden wall. On this narrow and restricted site our primary concern was to create a house that is as light and spacious as possible while being practical, comfortable and enjoyable to live in.

The main space in the centre of the house is a double-height volume lit by a large raised rooflight. Off this living space are subsidiary spaces for eating, study and sleeping. Bay windows to the kitchen and the first floor bedroom at the front of the house are angled to catch the sun and a sinuously curved bay window looks onto the garden at the rear. The exterior, while modern, is complementary to the adjoining Victorian house. It is of white-painted stucco to match the neighbouring building and respects its building line and scale.

"Cleverly planned, with a formal double-height toplit centre, a staircase tucked behind the hearth and an asymmetrical bow to catch the sun on the garden side."

Bridget Cherry and Nikolas Pevsner, 'Buildings of England. London 4 - North', Penguin 1998.

Materials are straightforward and, generally, inexpensive. Walls are of plastered solid insulating concrete blockwork. The ground floor is of varnished black cement screed with inlaid aluminium and oak skirtings and the upper floor is of oak strips. A conventional gas-fired boiler serves hot water heating pipes in floors.

Nightingale House has been noted in the press on many occasions in this country and abroad and continues to attract attention, particularly when open to the public on London Open House weekend. Some of the articles may be read in full: