Mar 15, 2023 / Architecture
Zig Zag House by MATA Architects

Zig Zag House is a minimal residence located in London, United Kingdom, designed by MATA Architects. The architects recently completed a comprehensive refurbishment of their own 19th century mid-terrace house in order to accommodate their growing family. With two children in adolescence and early teen years, the couple sought to provide greater autonomy and personal space for everyone. The refurbishment included a modest rear extension and the addition of a garden studio, along with external landscaping. Previously, the family shared a single bathroom, but the renovation now includes en-suite bathrooms for each family member. The garden room provides a separate space for the children to entertain friends, while the extension of the kitchen/dining room provides a second, more informal living room.

The designers limited their use of color and materials to a palette of raw, earthy and natural tones, aiming to foster a sense of calm throughout the house. The rear extension is clad in a zigzagging pattern of triangular sections of charred Oak (‘Honshu’), while the garden room envelope is charred Larch battens (‘Takage’), both products of Sho Sugi Ban, the Japanese technique of sealing timber through charring. The courtyard garden features contrasting tumbled Dijon Limestone for its hard landscaping. The garden was conceptualized as a courtyard space that mediates between two opposing interior spaces: the kitchen/dining room at the rear of the house and the garden studio, which houses a gym and a kids TV/gaming room. The extension’s large glazed sliding doors and level threshold improve the connection between the kitchen/dining space and the garden, providing a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living.

Photography by Lorenzo Zandri