British suburbia reimagined.

British suburbia reimagined.

Waldeck Road in Ealing, located halfway between Heathrow airport and the centre of the city, is an archetypal middle-class London residential street: two stories plus an attic, brick façades featuring white timber, all of it infused with the spirit of the Victorian Age. And suddenly, a sober building consisting of grey brick cubes with large black windows and anthracite metalwork – the Tree House – forms a stark counterpoint to the surroundings.


Fletcher Crane Architects


Lorenzo Zandri


London, United Kingdom

The Tree House is located halfway between Heathrow and the city center.
The Tree House is located halfway between Heathrow and the city center.

Out of place? A remarkable addition!

Designed by Fletcher Crane Architects from Kingston-upon-Thames in the south-west of London, the building initially seems to shake the foundations of the streetscape – only then to blend in with remarkable harmony. “Stitched boldly into the scenography” is how the planners themselves so fittingly put it. It seems to have been placed among the existing buildings with precision and audacity. Its cubic design is reflective of the surrounding forms, with its materials also blending in. And while the neighbouring buildings are ornamental, this one is elegantly restrained.

Reduziert, aber aufs Schönste. Das Tree House in London.
Reduced, but in the most appealing way – sober and natural. (Photo: Lorenzo Zandri)

Built downwards

However, once you enter the building, a stark contrast to the traditional architecture reveals itself. An open split-level plan extends through the building. The kitchen and living area occupy the top floor, where the natural light is maximised by the large windows. Two bedrooms, each with a bathroom, are found below the top floor in a semi-basement that also includes a small sunken garden made with black cobblestones.   

Klare Linien, große Fenster: das Tree House in London.
Clean lines, large windows: quality living doesn’t take much. (Photo: Lorenzo Zandri)

Back to basics

The exterior of the Tree House is based on clean lines and bold contrasts between rough brick and sharp black detailing. Inside, too, only a few materials have been used to create maximum clarity. Exposed brick walls are combined with custom-designed ash joinery, terrazzo tiles and finely crafted metal balustrades. All the interior design details are characterised by straight lines and a focus on the essentials. The switches and socket outlets from the Gira Esprit linoleum-plywood design line blend in perfectly, boasting a look that is modern yet effortlessly understated – in other words, very British.

Die Kunst der Zurückhaltung, stimmig inszeniert im Tree House in London.
The art of restraint, harmoniously presented. (Photo: Lorenzo Zandri)

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