© Hélène Binet

L House is the first of our built projects where colour was applied as an actual building material. A conventional Victorian terraced house was converted to contain two floors of office space and a maisonette above. Through this transformation, the cellular spaces of the original house were stripped away to such a degree that on the top floor only the outer walls remained.

Instead of walls, a series of large boxes – either coloured or of timber – were placed to modulate and redefine the original spaces. These boxes also serve to store the paraphernalia of everyday life.

Ascending from each storey to the next, the frequency of these volumes and intensity of their colour increases, such that the uppermost room appears to be made entirely of colour. Simultaneously enclosing and releasing the space, the colour creates an ambiguity between visual and physical perception, which seems to dematerialise all physical enclosure.

With its orientation to the sky, the top room appears to be almost entirely in the open so that the domestic setting seems to assume the character of a garden.

© Michel Claus
© Hélène Binet
© Hélène Binet
© Hélène Binet
© Katsuhisa Kida


  • Conversion of a Victorian House


  • gross floor area: 170 m²
  • 1990 — 1992

project team