A contemporary addition sympathetic to its historic setting
RIBA National Award winner 2021
RIBA London Regional Award winner 2021
alma-nac for private client
Contract value: undisclosed
One can feel the stress of everyday life start to recede the moment one enters the front garden of this charming three-storey, six-bed, detached family home in a conservation area.
The new building repairs the Victorian street that had suffered bomb damage during World War II and had housed a nondescript building built in the 1960s in the meantime. Although the house has a new skin, it is built around the existing two-storey dwelling.
The architect’s solution in effect wraps the retained external walls in a thick warm coat to bring it up to contemporary standards. Many of the inner walls were also retained and skilfully integrated into the new. Where there are new additions, above and to the rear, they are made of lightweight structure, mostly exposed timber. The detailing is robust, exposed and attractive.
The inside is not entirely open plan. Two rooms to the front, which could be used as a study and a snug, look onto the front garden. The living quarters are split-level, the sitting room stepping down to the single-storey kitchen and dining room at the back, which looks onto the rear garden. The stairs are separated from the living room with a sliding door, and rise through the middle of the house to the bedrooms
The composition of the elevations, having retained a lot of the original openings, is very pleasing, poetic and fluid. Combined with the pale grey colour of the brick cladding, the overall effect is respectful of its context and nicely restrained, communicating in a beautiful whisper.