Think Globally…Build Locally

The House of Trace by Tsurata Architects is a house extension in London that takes a local and sustainable, yet high-tech approach to the use of materials. The aim of the architects was to demolish an original house extension and replace it with a new extension that retains a sense of material memory, whilst giving the new build its own unique identity.

The building materials selected for the project are all ordinary materials, and all available from the local builder’s merchant. In addition to supporting small local business, transportation distances of materials to site were minimized. The materials selected include facing bricks, exposed steel (painted), white cement concrete, whitewash panels, birch plywood, melamine plywood, coloured MDF (solid), tricoya board, glazed subway tiles and copper pipe. The full potential of these all rather ordinary materials were rigorously tested through the architect’s detailing and incorporation of open source computer programs to help minimizing any material wastage and correct site executions.

The entire building and all its components were modelled three dimensionally, with some components and furnishing being broken down to be processed in CNC, so that they could be brought to the site as flatpack components. This process not only cuts fabrication time and cost, but reduced the distances required to bring the necessary materials to site.

The record of this CNC flatpack process can be traced to the numbering system visible on the faces of each piece retained as memories of assembly.