Found in a dilapidated state of disrepair, this house hadn’t been refurbished for a couple of generations and didn’t even have an indoor loo! Even it’s bones were a little creaky following some subsidence issues whilst empty. Undeterred, our clients saw the opportunity and were drawn to the gentle grandeur of what remained.
Fully designed, detailed and constructed during the Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020/21 the refurbished home is a testament to trust and collaboration. Plus, familiarity with the building type and fortunate visits before we were locked down meant design work carried out remotely didn’t suffer.
The house was taken ‘back to brick’, with all parts refurbished, including the reconstruction of the rear outrigger as this was found to be beyond repair. The reclaimed brick was reused and opportunity taken to thermally upgrade the house with breathable insulation. Original plasterwork (carefully removed and replaced) and staircase (suspended in-situ whilst the concrete floor was laid) retain the spirit of the original house.
The extensions themselves are the ‘standard’ volumes allowed by ‘permitted development’. Simple, large format, triple glazed windows – with a fun terracotta frame colour – bring masses of light into the space. Outside the new walls are built in brick to be robust and complement the surrounding houses, but with every other course indented to give a texture and interest to these small-scale interventions. A contemporary paint palette is used including a bright highlight up to a notional dado level. These colours tie in with the clients original art collection, in part inspired by their Iranian heritage. The kitchen was designed in collaboration with Matrix Kitchens.
Carefully considered landscaping, also designed by the studio, not only provides vital privacy between the house and adjacent flats through the use of the pleached hornbeam ‘flying hedge’ but also wraps the garden in larch fencing enhancing the sense of enclosure. Overall the spaces feel fun and vibrant yet also mature and calming.
Grand Designs September 2022