Set in an attractive south London ‘village’, this large property benefits from an extensive garden that was once an urban orchard. However, the original interiors were never intended to address this area which lies to the side and at a lower level. So our brief was to create a series of rooms that turn towards and step down into the garden. This entailed surgically opening up a series of cramped internal spaces and using the footprint of a tired conservatory and garage to add new spaces in closer relationship with the garden,
A plinth, built in brick to match the house, supports a set of pavilions overlooking the garden. One is a replacement garage, store and play room, one an extension of the kitchen into a dining room and one a sunny sitting room next to an ancient apple tree. Grand windows and lofty glazed doors are framed by carefully proportioned white blocks. These give the impression of weighty, monolithic construction, but also resonate with Georgian and Regency architecture, such as the classic London stucco porch.
The brickwork base steps gently down to the garden with planted terraces mediating between the architecture and the landscape. Stock bricks match the original house, making it seem the plinth was always there, but also work well as a terrace in wet London winters, hiding discolouration and leaf mould.