Casadanza, Manwood Road

London SE4

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Having acquired a derelict former schoolkeeper's house, the architects Chance de Silva retained the shell of the existing building and extended it in all directions to make a small residential complex.

With its pitched blue-zinc roof and white-painted brick, the building references its Crofton Park neighbours, but there is also a nod to Alvar Aalto's houses in Helsinki and Noormarkku.

The name Casadanza refers to the nearby Rivoli Ballroom – the wonderfully preserved 1950s ballroom that is a still-thriving local institution.

Chance de Silva describe Casadanza as follows: "We have experimented with dance imagery, for example combining the forms and movement of a pair of dancers with 'stretching' the existing box, subdividing it into dwellings of different sizes. In particular the blocky rectangular brickwork erupted into a rakishly tilted 'hat', crowning the house and flats respectively. Under the 'hats' the ceilings follow the eccentric lines of the sloping roof planes, and rooflights drop in here and there to augment low-level views with high-level illumination."

The building makes the most of having three different aspects by carefully managing the views and the natural light.

Chance de Silva have become particularly well known for designing intelligent and experimental new-build houses. Each incorporates characteristics of the local area and is tailored to the requirements of the client.

For example, a house in Highbury called Venus, which occupies a site on a very private and "defensive" street, opens up at higher levels to permit views and let in light.

Cargo Fleet, built in 2005, is clad in Cor-Ten steel and larch. This ‘lifetime live-work’ home can be used flexibly to accommodate the changes in circumstance of occupants over a lifetime. It could be one larger dwelling, containing a home-office, or two smaller houses. Writing about the project in the Architects' Journal, Andrew Wulf declared that it "successfully addresses the changing face of the domestic".

To see details of the two-bedroom house at Casadanza, which is also for sale with The Modern House, click here.

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.

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Casadanza, Manwood Road
London SE4

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