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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > February 2019 > Inspiration


Traditional materials with a modern finish


Warwickshire based Studio Spicer Architects was given the task of redeveloping a plot of land in one of Coventry’s most prestigious postcodes. The existing dilapidated buildings were demolished to make way for two distinctive new contemporary dwellings, inspired by the local area’s vernacular. Each has a relatively simple form designed to highlight the striking cantilevered upper storeys – one clad in richly toned Siberian larch and the other in zinc.

Larch House, pictured, has a timber frame construction enveloped in handmade Danish bricks and finished with contrasting bright white cement mortar. The choice of wood cladding for the roof and cantilevered sections was made because of its exceptional performance. Siberian larch is known as the tree of eternity, and cladding in this material requires no treatment or maintenance work postinstallation, even in the harshest of climates.

Inside, there are five bedrooms with ensuites, a games room, study, lounge and a large open-plan kitchen living area. Full height windows and a bespoke steel staircase with glass balustrades add extra drama.

For more information call 01789 293452 or visit

Etch House


Architects Joe Fraher and Lizzie Webster purchased this typical south London two-up two-down house in 2016 with the aim of fully refurbishing it to create a better family living space. The project challenged the traditional Victorian layout by repositioning the staircase to cut diagonally across the building, meaning narrow corridors and unusable landings could be replaced in order to create new open zones for a playroom and study area.

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About Build It

Build It is Britain’s longest running self build magazine. Each issue is packed full of inspirational and informative readers’ homes, as well as expert advice on issues from budgets and planning to project management and design. This month: - Renovating floors in a period home - Rainwater goods cost guide - Choosing the right smart home security systems - Could an architect save you money?