January 30, 2023


Giving your Home a new Option

The Ghost House by BNP Architects

The Ghost House by BNP Architects made quite a splash after it debuted in December 2018. Located northwest of London in Warwickshire, England, the brutalist concrete residence quickly won a 2019 award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and was also shortlisted for the 2019 Grand Designs House of the Year Show. It was the home’s uncompromisingly simple palette of materials, as well as its subterranean level hidden by reflection pools along the roof, that captivated the judges. 

Lining the roof of a subterranean section, two reflection pools provide a canvas for reflecting the structure’s concrete and glass form. A walkway divides the color-dyed water, ending at a staircase that leads down into a sunken courtyard.

Inspired by the work of Japanese architect and concrete master Tadao Ando, the home’s owner tasked BNP Architects with creating one of only a few cast-in-place concrete homes in the United Kingdom. The final design occupies the original sunken garden of a demolished country house, creating a partially sunken interior bounded by private courtyards.

The stairs lead down to a nearly 10-foot high black steel front door. The home was recently selected to take part in a series on design for the 21st Century presented by the Chicago Museum of Architecture.

The RIBA Award Committee described the design as “challenging the very notion of house,” noting that “the simple palette of concrete and black detailing produces dynamic and brutal spaces.” The committee also commented on the home’s many unique details: “The in situ concrete was carefully cast [to include] all the sockets and light fittings, as well as consider the formwork, and the end result is a startling interior. The careful consideration of sand for the concrete mix gives the finish a surprising warmth.”

The courtyard is surrounded on three sides by floor-to-ceiling glass. 

Exposed concrete along the interior and exterior walls is contrasted with the exclusive use of matte black steel and glass. Inside, column-free living spaces are accented by recessed lighting strips and illuminated by floor-to-ceiling windows. A two-story wall of glass runs the length of the rear facade, with the upper and lower levels connected by a full-width void in the concrete. Offering nearly 5,500 square feet of interior space, the three-bedroom home was recently listed for sale with an asking price of just over $3,000,000. Keep scrolling to see more of the interior.

The entrance leads into the kitchen, past opposing staircases that lead up to the bedrooms. 

Strips of recessed lighting run along the ceiling and down the walls. The kitchen is made of a monumental island stretching along the center of the space.

The RIBA Award Committee described the two black steel staircases as “reminiscent of the staircases of country houses that swept up from the hall to the piano noble.”

Steel-and-glass doors open up onto the rear courtyard patio. The two-story wall of glass dramatically illuminates the interior space.

A dining area sits in a corner opposite the kitchen.

Upstairs, the master bedroom is encased in a concrete box, illuminated largely by natural light from several skylights placed around the room.

The home also offers a lush theater room.

Outside, large retaining walls bound the rear courtyard on three sides. A reflecting pool runs around the perimeter of the patio.

In contrast to the barely visible front facade, the rear of the home reveals its cavernous interior.

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