London has a wealth of incredible building design, from The Barbican and Tate Modern to The Gherkin and The Shard.

Though the capital doesn’t just boast some of the country’s best architectural landmarks, it’s also home to some great, lesser known, houses. HOMYZE has scoured the city to find the best designed houses in London – here are four of our favourites.

Courtyard House

Courtyard House - Best designed houses in London

Courtyard House. Photo courtesy of Dallas Pierce Quintero

Winner of the RIBA London Best Small Project in 2015, Courtyard House was built on a former builder’s yard and is a unique tribute to the confines of space. Working within such a limited area with housing either side, architecture studio Dallas Pierce Quintero were challenged with creating a home that could enjoy natural sunlight without overlooking neighbouring properties.

As a result, four courtyards were built to provide both a source of natural light while also offering space for functional outdoor living.

Courtyard House - Best designed houses in London

Courtyard House interior

Constructed with an exposed timber frame, the build’s exterior consists of vertical dark brick walls that carry on into the home, that alongside the courtyards, disrupt the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces. That makes the Courtyard House one of the best designed houses in London.

The Water Tower

The Water Tower House

The Water Tower. Photo courtesy of Leigh Osborne

A converted 100ft water tower in Kennington, The Water Tower is one of London’s most awe-inspiring houses south of the river. Set across ten floors, the Venetian style, Grade II listed property combines a traditional 19th-century water tower with a modernist build extension known as The Cube.

While the original features and water storage may be gone, in their place stand contemporary design and modern living spaces. While at the very top of the tower you’ll find a four sided glass panelled living room that offers stunning 360-degree views across the city.

Vault House

Vault House. Photo courtesy of vPPR

Built over a former taxi garage in Hammersmith, Vault House is a contemporary build that makes the most of its urban limitations. So named for its six vaulted skylights, installed due to restrictions on windows, the house still manages to provide ample room and natural light.

While the upper floor is open plan, the varying sizes and positioning of the skylights allow sunlight to pour into the home throughout different parts of the day, creating a natural sense of division among its spaces. As such, the kitchen area sees the most light during the morning, while the dining room and library capture it most in the evenings.

Alongside these skylights sit two courtyards, designed with glazed walls that bring in light to the bottom floor’s four bedrooms. A single wall in each courtyard also slides open to allow the rooms to breathe and the courtyards to act as a functional space.

Covert House

Covert House. Photo courtesy of DSDHA.

Based within a conservation area and with a number of overlooking properties, DSDHA founders Deborah Saunt and David Hills were tasked with a project that embraced a number of tricks to disguise its true size. These factors shaped the build into a house that splits the landscape, with the top floor above ground and the bottom sunken below.

Helping to avoid the darkness and sense of confinement that would necessarily be expected from an underground level, courtyards were created to let in sunlight. This lets natural light pour into the lower rooms while allowing those within to admire the stunning outdoors that surround.

The build further camouflages itself by using a variety of natural and bright coloured materials to once again echo the light that floods the underground level. As well as installing a number of mirrors to reflect back the surrounding greenery and once again hide its true magnitude.

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