This project is named after the fact that the site was once used as a parking garage by the Mayor of Southwark (or Coach House for someone of that status). When we first visited the site we found a derelict, single storey, brick building at the end of a charming, cobbled laneway, nestled between the adjacent workshops and the perimeter wall of Lucas Gardens, a popular neighbourhood park next door.


Our design response was simple, we used these existing boundary walls to provide enclosure and inserted a new two storey structure to create a modern family home, combining minimal light filled interiors, with the richness and texture of the surrounding brick and stone. We introduced an additional material, Siberian Larch, to clad the façade of the new structure in a veil of slatted timber, enriching the warmth of the external palette and creating a new elevation to greet visitors on arrival.

The accommodation is arranged over two floors. Off the ground floor entrance hall, two bedrooms are located against the garden wall, with deep window reveals protruding through the existing masonry openings. On the front elevation, the timber screen provides additional privacy to the bedrooms while also concealing external storage for bin and bikes.


The upper floor features an open-plan living / kitchen / dining with a small study adjacent to a screened terrace. Elevated above the existing brick walls, and sitting amongst the tree tops, the living space enjoys framed views into the surrounding park, embracing it’s leafy setting and connection to nature. A generous skylight positioned above the stair allows natural light to flood deep into the centre of the plan.

The final element that brings the project to life is the constant play of light and dappled shade as it filters through the trees and timber veil, changing with the movement of the sun and the turn of the seasons. The new Coach House is both enigmatic and characterful, blending with it’s surroundings while also creating moments of intrigue.

Youngman Lovell

Completed 2020

Simon Cadle