1. Home
  2. /
  3. Houses
  4. /
  5. Valley View Gardens, Brighton, England by Alter Architects

Valley View Gardens, Brighton, England by Alter Architects

Project name:
Valley View Gardens
Architecture firm:
Alter Architects
Brighton, West Sussex, England
Ivan Jones
Principal architect:
Grant Shepherd
Design team:
Alter Architects
Steel work-iFab, Staircase-Multi-Turn
Interior design:
Alter Architects
Built area:
400 m²
Site area:
1164 m²
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
De Silva Structures
Structural engineer:
De Silva Structures
Environmental & MEP:
NuPlanet & Alter Architects
Alter Architects
Alter Architects
Tools used:
Traditional (Cantilever)
Brick, Slate, Glass, Aluminum
Residential › Housing

Alter Architects: Situated amongst the Sussex downs – these subtle houses postulate a potential future housing idea for small back-land developments. Valley View Gardens comprises four two-storey dwellings, these houses offer adaptable and accessible environments whilst providing a unique architectural proposition that is open, decisive, and daring. These elegant, patterned brick houses are somewhat a contradiction; at one level they have been designed to shield views and maintain privacy, on another they take advantage of better quality of light and maximise views of countryside through beautiful detail and striking architectural form.

What was the brief?

The client’s brief was to design a series of houses on a back land plot of land. The derelict land, behind a semi-detached row of suburban houses posed problematic with restrictions of access, privacy and overlooking.

What were the solutions?

Innovation comes in the form of a traditional building material teamed with an architectural and sculptural technical solutions. Pivotal, whilst being sculptural, each house has been designed to slice a traditional gable building mass in four and slide the larger mono-pitch form forward opening an opportunity to shield views, provide covered access and control natural light. Shaping natural lighting comes in many forms throughout the houses; on approach one looks up at the sky framed by the hole cut through the balancing mass – a glass screen flanks the hit and miss brick screen, light trickles down to the entrance. 

Key products used:

Nelissen Alma / Crest Elgin Blend
Velfac Windows / Doors. Velfac V200E (Triple Glazed) & Some V200 (Double Glazed)
Rooflights: Titan Aluminium Edge Fixed Rooflight, VistaGlaze, The Rooflight Company – Neo
Roof Tiles: Cedral Rivendale Man-Made Fibre Cement Slate Roof
Site Paving: Forterra Aquaflow Purbec permeable pavers

How is the project unique?

Housing need is a pertinent issue, working on disused and under-appreciated sites, this new model of housing 'turns a page' for architectural typologies. These houses offer adaptable interior environments whilst providing a unique architectural expression. The design "future-proofed" the interiors of the houses, to ensure that each house is capable of meeting the future change in needs of the residents. Positioning the staircase central to both floor levels enables users a fuller range of usable space, connective and visible. 

What were the key challenges?

The site was derelict land, located behind a semi-detached row of suburban houses which posed problematic with restrictions of access, privacy and overlooking.

The challenge is a site that offered very little development opportunity, within a heavily restricted context - through design Alter were able to proposition a building typology that worked divisively through its sliding forms to develop these four unique houses.

By Alfredo Gonzalez

Share on: