I’m certain it wasn’t in the architects’ conscious minds while struggling with this narrow and awkward site, but the main impact of the simple house they have produced in Elgin Avenue is an emotional one: the kind of emotion that comes from moving through small dark space, emerging into wide light spaces, taking devious routes, delving into cave spaces. The last thing one might expect from a very little house in west London is an essay in the essence of picturesque architecture, but here it seems to be.
The Sliver House (its owner prefers to call it the Glass House) has been built on the site of a single-storey wine vault that served the adjacent pub. From the street it looks impossibly small, with a 3m frontage and 8m height. It looks even smaller because of its wide and high neighbours, all brick, terracotta, stucco and tall sash windows: those great stalwarts of Victorian life, the terraced and the public house.
Architect: Boyarsky Murphy