Open House Festival

The Secret Garden Flat


Nic Howett Architect, 2022

165A Camberwell Road, SE5 0HB

A self-built bedroom extension and studio situated behind a shop in a Victorian terrace that shifts the emphasis of living away from a busy main road towards its garden. It recently won ‘Home of the Year’ at the Don’t Move Improve! Awards.

Getting there


Elephant & Castle


Elephant & Castle, Denmark Hill


68, 45, 42, 40, 35, 176, 171, 148, 12

Additional travel info

Train and tube stations are a 10-15minute walk away, there are plenty of bus routes that stop nearby. The Secret Garden flat is accessed via a black door beneath the number 165 on Camberwell Road.


Accessibility notes

The Secret Garden Flat has a series of level changes that make it difficult to access for anyone with mobility issues.


The Secret Garden Flat

A unique opportunity to visit the award winning The Secret Garden Flat. This self built bedroom extension and garden studio recently won 'Home of the Year' at the Don't Move Improve! awards. Architect and self builder Nic Howett will give guided tours to small groups allowing visitors a chance to explore The Secret Garden Flat and understand the story behind its creation.


Needing more space for a family, with unaffordable property prices, and a reluctance to relocate, The Secret Garden Flat was self built by the architect and his partner to extend their home on a limited budget.

Situated behind a shop in a Victorian terrace on Camberwell Road, they have remodelled a small awkward flat, shifting the emphasis of living away from a busy main road to the garden behind.

Self building with a palette of simple and modest materials that could be crafted with their own hands, they have added a new bedroom and a secluded garden studio where both can work from home. These new additions now sit comfortably amongst the palimpsest of alterations and development to neighbouring buildings.

The end result is a flexible home that the whole family can enjoy for years to come.

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