Friday, 23 September 2011

Sylvan Glade , Keston Park, London - Grand Designs

First aired on Grand Designs 21st September 2011 at 9pm; the episode was a fascinating insight into the project. Taking you through the demolition of Paul and Penny Denby's 1940's home where they had lived for 19 years, through the complications of planning, right up to the completion of this stunning and serene family home.

The brief to James Engel of Spaced Out Architecture Studios for Paul and Penny's new home focused on inspiration from the transcendental feeling created by the light and space of a woodland clearing. Sylvan Glade is a fluid plan of curves linking open and cellular spaces. The glazed facades emphasise the dynamic relationship with the landscape. The project team facilitated the Denby's wishes to select all their materials and suppliers themselves and their desire to explore new innovative products. The most impressive example of how the project team of James Engel (Design Architect), James Smithers (Projects Contractor) and Vanessa Tarrier (Glass Technology Specialist) worked seamlessly together with Paul and Penny was in the use of Heat Mirror Technology within all the glazed facades.

Sylvan Glade is the first home in the UK to use Heat Mirror Technology on a large scale. This innovative new material allows users to experience all the health and well-being benefits of natural light, whilst minimising heat loss through the glass. The glazing system also prevents the house from overheating in the summer months.

Unusually for a new building that takes risks, throughout construction the whole project team worked harmoniously to allow the design to realise it's full potential - and to deliver to a fixed budget without compromise on the specification of efficient technology.

After initial scepticism from the planning department and the neighbourhood, Sylvan Glade has only admirers, with many positive enquiries for similar projects.

The combination of vision and experience required to design, detail and construct this successful project now means that others have the opportunity to engage with this bespoke collaboration. Through their respective companies; Spaced Out Architecture Studio, Modillion Homes and Cantifix; James, James and Vanessa are set to deliver other luxury projects in the UK and Overseas. (see contact details below)

Check out the Grand Designs episode online at: for the making of Sylvan Glade! (episode 31 series 7)

Key Facts:
Name: Sylvan Glade - Private Residence
Commissioned by: Paul and Penny Denby
Architect: James Engel - RIBA of Spaced Out Architecture Studio
Main Contractor: James Smithers of Modillion Homes
Glazing Specialist Contractor: Vanessa Tarrier of Cantifix Ltd
Completed: April 2011
Gross Internal Floor Area 343 sq.m ( 3700 sq. ft)
5 Bedrooms plus 1 additional bedroom in the self contained first floor

Note to Editors: For additional information, images, interviews or sales
enquiries, please use the contact details below.

Architecture - James Engel of SOAS
tel 020 7833 9236

Construction - James Smithers of Modillion Homes.
tel 01483 541233

Glazing Technology - Vanessa Tarrier of Cantifix Ltd. tel 020 8203 6203

see also Andie's Blog at

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