New Homes for Neighbourhoods I

Architecture Design : Variant Office and Erect Architecture

Location : Natal Road, Brighton, UK
Client : Brighton + Hove City Council

Sector : Residential
Area :  100 sqm
Status: Competition

Brighton and Hove City Council organised a competition to regenerate small pockets of leftover space throughout the city. Variant Office, in collaboration with Erect Architecture, proposed this design for an unused piece of land on a steep slope between two existing houses.


To make this a place for a family home, we propose a design carefully moulded to its context. Starting with a minimal rectangular volume following the line of the garage next door, we push and pull the planes of the façade and roof to take account of the complex conditions.

At the ground floor, this sculpting creates a sheltered entrance porch; at the first floor it reveals a Juliet balcony that respects the neighbour’s views. To the rear, the first floor pop-out echoes the recess in the front, while above the half-landing the roof drops and brings light in from above.

The proposed house is brick clad, consistent with the material of its neighbours. Its materiality relates to the adjacent garages and ties the new house visually into the existing context. The recesses to the façade create a lively sculptural rhythm.

This is a generous family home with four-bedrooms, fully accessible to Lifetime standards. Entry is to the west, through a hallway which leads straight to a large living/ kitchen/ dining area, which opens directly to the garden. The stair sits visible at the side of this living space and leads to a more private second family room, which overlooks the double-height space below. The bedrooms upstairs are arranged with views both front and back.

See more of our residential work in our residential section