Novak Hiles lodges plans for house in Barnet back garden

Ground floor plan

Architect’s view

Site plan

Our business model focuses on unlocking the hidden potential of unloved or overlooked spaces. Our project in Barnet represents an opportunity to provide a high-quality family home in an existing community, aligning with the Mayor of London’s vision to use white and brownfield sites to sensitively intensify London boroughs.

Last year the studio won London Legacy Development Corporation approval for another infill housing scheme for the developer on a ‘vacant overgrown’ site in Hackney Wick.

The architectural language of the proposed house has been developed to playfully celebrate and reinforce the very best qualities of the Modernist suburban context within which the site is located. Features include a curved front bay, corner glazing, as well as a small chimney to the front left corner that will allow the eaves line of the building to step up to acknowledge the varying eaves line of its immediate neighbours.

The front elevation will provide visual depth and relief, offering a new dignified frontage to the street beyond.


Its architectural language makes considerable reference to the street’s character while ensuring the design is clean, modern and avoids pastiche.

Charlie Caswell and Adam Dainow, directors, Caswell&Dainow



A future timescale is not yet known.

Client Caswell&Dainow
Architect Novak Hiles Architects
Planning consultant West Green Planning
Energy consultant Pro Sustainability
Location Barnet, London
Type of project New-build residential
GIA 104m² (exceeds minimum sizes, and achieves the new larger London Plan Housing Design standards LPG ‘best practice’ space standards for a three-bed five-person home across two storeys)
External private amenity area total 58m²
Cost Undisclosed
Annual CO2 emissions 62 per cent reduction in C02 emissions over Part L regulations (significantly improving upon the London Plan target of 35 per cent reduction)

The interior layout will be inherently flexible with an open staggered plan arrangement between kitchen and living room that maximises dual-aspect views.

Having already successfully gained permission for a 2-unit scheme in Hackney Wick together, we were keen to work again with Novak Hiles Architects. Their attention to detail and ability to navigate a balance between the constraints of the site and our desire to exceed space standards impressed us.

The project represents an opportunity to utilise an underused garden space to provide a new family home that shall champion good design and high-quality living standards.

The proposed home will exceed ‘minimum sizes’, going on to achieve the new larger London Plan Housing Design Standards LPG ‘best practice’ space standards for a three-bed, five-person home across two storeys, including both GIA and storage provision.

The application for the latest project, a new 104m² five-person home on an ‘unusual break in the building line’, has just been lodged with Barnet Council.

The practice is again working with emerging developer Caswell&Dainow, which specialises in working with ‘existing gardens, garages, backland sites, outbuildings, derelict spaces and everything in between’.


Source:Novak Hiles Architects

Project data


Client’s view

The proposed new home has been designed to improve upon Part L building regulations CO2 emissions through fabric design and building service efficiencies as well as the use of low-carbon technologies including an acoustically enclosed air-source heat pump, which collectively will reduce CO2 emissions by 62 per cent over Part L regulations. This significantly improves upon the London Plan’s overall requirement of 35 per cent reduction.
Carla Novak and Adam Hiles

The design is clean, modern and avoids pastiche

The building will also provide a generous provision of external amenity space with year-round planting and trees offering visual amenity and privacy as well as supporting biodiversity. Permeable surfaces will be used to ensure sustainable drainage. Planting will also be integrated into the first-floor setback to soften the front elevation.

According to the architect, the existing property will ‘still be left with a generous sized retained garden following the development’.

The end design marries high quality interior spaces with a generous contextual house set within carefully planned landscaping that softens the built form and integrates the new building into the street scene.

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