In a small corner plot in Esher, Surrey, Oliver Leech Architects has designed a multifaceted, charred-timber home for the mother of its client. You’d be forgiven for thinking that this was a stand-alone house, rather than a compact one-storey garden suite. “They came to us to create a granny flat, but the resulting house doesn’t feel or look like that at all,” says Oliver Leech, the London studio’s director. “Other than sharing a garden, it could be its own house, which I think is part of the success of the design.”

With its blackened envelope, origami-style green roof (expressed visually as a butterfly configuration, hence the project’s name) and four pitched volumes angled to create a fan-like shape, the 94-square-metre home was…

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