for many years while i live in london i would pass this box of glass on a quiet residential street in hampstead every time i would go to the park. usually it’s blind were closed, giving nothing away of what was inside or beyond. andrew trotter
Michael and Patty Hopkins’ own house is probably what you might expect from one of the pioneers of the “high-tech” style (Michael was once a partner at Foster Associates). It clearly draws inspiration from the Californian case study houses; the Eames house in particular (and probably Foster’s work for IBM at Cosham – 1971) being constructed from a framework of 63mm square hollow steel sections, lattice beams and profiled metal sheeting. The garden is 2.5m below street level, so one enters at first floor level, via a bridge. This upper floor contains a studio, sitting area and the master bedroom. The lower floor holds three children’s bedrooms, kitchen and dining area. A toilet core features on both levels, which are connected by a spiral staircase. Measuring 12 x 10m, the structural grid of 2 x 4m was deliberately kept small, to keep down the sizes of the structural members (and their cost) and provides a useful internal space planning grid. Front and rear elevations are fully glazed.