The House of Trace by Tsuruta Architects in London

Set in London, this end-of-terrace house was recently given a new lease on life with the help of Tsuruta Architects. Dubbed the House of Trace, the house was redeveloped to make it suitable for use as a family home.


House of Trace - Small House - Tsuruta Architects - London - Exterior - Humble Homes

The House of Trace features elements throughout, both on the inside and outside, that hark back to its original construction and form. There are marks in the existing brick work and beams that create a sense of history, and it was this that the architects wanted to instil into the redesign.


From the architects: “Our intent was to keep a sense of memory, while simultaneously allowing the new intervention to have its own identity. As we uncovered the original building fabric, we discovered the history of the house.”

House of Trace - Small House - Tsuruta Architects - London - Kitchen - Humble Homes


As can be seen from the original exterior brickwork, the house used to feature a mono-pitch roof. It’s now been replaced with the more modern rectilinear form, but it is interesting to see how the old and new have been melded together.

House of Trace - Small House - Tsuruta Architects - London - Bedroom - Humble Homes

“The original extension had no distinct historical or architectural value, and was structurally unsound, but it had a roof profile typical of those found in terrace house back gardens. We chose to incorporate this banality in the new face of the rear garden – in a way fossilising and persevering its charm to carry some sense of associated memory to those who know it or those who see it new.”

The interior layout was also given a major overhaul. The bathroom and kitchen were relocated from the back of the building to the centre of the house. The living room and dining room can now be found on either side of this central hub.

House of Trace - Small House - Tsuruta Architects - London - Bathroom - Humble Homes

The second storey contains two large bedrooms, and a slightly small children’s bedroom. Both the children’s bedroom and the master bedroom feature windows that look out into a light well that travels down from the roof, to the kitchen/dining area below. There’s also a small second toilet on this floor.

House of Trace - Small House - Tsuruta Architects - London - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The dining room and master bedroom are positioned to the rear of the house so as to take advantage of the garden views. The interior has also been finished throughout with custom made furniture pieces, cut using a CNC router.

For more small houses check out The Pod, a small “granny flat” in Australia by Takt. Or, this summer house in Sweden that features a climbing roof. See all small houses.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Tim Crocker, Marie-Cecile Embleton

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. …and, it being in London, the price tag is 2.5 million. Très humble!

    Sorry, couldn’t resist

  2. Does anyone else think that the bathroom looks like one out of a prison cell ?

    Most unattractive to my eye .

  3. While it isn’t a beautiful bathroom, Trish, it’s obvious you’ve never seen the inside of an actual prison>

  4. And I don`t intend to see one ( at least not for personal occupation ) , but that is really what comes to mind when I see this.A modern prison.

    And …….I would expect something a little more appealing for 2.5 million myself ………

  5. Trish, I think so, too. Or possibly a public restroom. I would be terrified to take a bath in there. Very oppressive & claustrophobic-feeling.