5 December 2015

Huf Hauser in Kingston Vale

I am interested in architecture and love Huf Hauser so I jumped at the opportunity to see inside a couple of them in Kingston Vale. The opportunity arose via the Kingston upon Thames Society - the houses (hauser) had won an award in their Townscape Awards and discussions with the owners over this had led to an invitation to visit them.

Each Huf Haus is carefully designed individually to meet the requirements of the owner and the features of the site. In this case the owner had gone for an Asian theme that was reflected in the landscaping, objects of art and the house names.

The first house was a single family home split over three floors. The impressive main living space was on the first (middle) floor which was also the level of the garden. This picture was taken with the kitchen area behind me, the dinning area immediately in front and the living area beyond that.

The room was very practicable, i.e. I could easily imagine myself living there, vast in size and had lots of glass to let the light and views of the garden to flood in.

This view of the approach to the kitchen/dining/living area gives more of an idea of how big that area was, that is quite a large dining table that is almost lost in the space at the far end, and also of how big the corridor space was; most rooms in most houses are smaller than that corridor.

Other rooms were more problematic. The house was littered with what were clearly bedrooms, i.e. they had en suite bathrooms, what could have been bedrooms and other rooms that could have been anything. This large room on the ground (lower) floor was a case in point. It was one of the larger rooms, even in this house, and had lots of light from the windows but I could not see how I would use it if I lived there. It could have been a home office, I suppose, but there were several other rooms that could have been that.

I said that Huf Hauser were designed to the owner's requirements so I am sure that each room had an intended purpose and that this would have been clearer had the construction completely finish and the rooms been furnished but impressed as I was by the enormous size of the building and the sleek design I just could not see how I could make use of all of that space.

The house next door was designed in the same style but for a different purpose and only over two floors. To be simplistic, it was like two family homes stitched together so that one of the halves could be given over to children, elderly relatives or even rented out as a self-contained property. It was much easier for me to see how all the rooms could be used in each of these scenarios.

The main space in the main part of the house was, again, the most impressive space. This time I took the photo from the far end of the living area which ran up to the first partial partition, the dining area next and the kitchen area at the far end with the units behind an island that ran almost the full width of the room. Add to this views of the garden on both sides and it was a living space that was both practicable and pretty.

I had already been a fan of Huf Hauser for many years and this visit just made me a bigger one.

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