Soho Slim House

Development of three dwellings of one, two and three bedrooms accessed via a courtyard within a two metre wide, 30 metre long, [62 square metre] slot between two five-storey buildings, above a service alley.

The dwellings are designed to accommodate the growing number of urbanites who work and play in London, that do not require or have time to use the typical suburban ‘house’ with a large kitchen and garden. The proposed accommodation is to provide a base that allows the occupier to take advantage of the city’s inherent cultural and service assets and benefit from its infrastructure and economies of scale.

This project stems from Greenaway Architecture’s interest and investigation into the ambiguous urban spaces in London that exist in neither private nor public realms. We refer to these spaces as ‘grey’ because they exist as a tone between the absolutes of black and white represented in the figure-ground diagram, where space is inert. We have been compelled to analyse these urban voids with the aim of understanding their causes, forms and effects. It is our intention that this research be an instrument of diagnosis and critique on the fragmentation of urban areas.

The Grey-Space study takes a situationist approach to look at how London really exists today, not a nostalgic retrospective or future idealism. In seeking a solution to macro nationwide problems the study analyses the qualities of local urban spatial minutiae and takes London’s most dynamic quarter, Soho, as a case study.

Through survey of the area, 24 Grey-Spaces were defined that collectively amounted to an area of 5,000+ sqm potentially inhabitable space. It was the aim of this study to generate a better understanding of ambiguous urban spaces and form an approach for cities in making, dynamic, efficient and democratic use of Grey Space.