Text description provided by the architects. TDO Architecture were commissioned by residential developer Echlin to design an exceptional architectural addition to this historic street.
TDO Architecture’s ambition was to address this narrow, mid terraced plot with eclectic adjacent buildings and the challenge of maximising natural daylight to the new proposed single aspect basement level. The resulting house has just been shortlisted for the RIBA London Awards 2015 and continues the street’s fine tradition of contemporary residential architecture, to which Walter Gropius, Maxwell Fry and Serge Chermayeff contribute.
TDO’s modern approach is sensitive to the street’s diverse character and rich heritage of buildings of their time. The design of the formal street elevation is based on a contemporary re-interpretation of the street’s Georgian and Victorian fenestration rhythm. A grid was generated from the street’s varied window levels and proportions. The window openings and glazing depth within this grid reflect the relative necessity for privacy internally. Adjacent to the glazing, opening bronze panels provide further natural ventilation. The result is an elevation that harmonises the building’s external and internal conditions.
The materials used are principally bronze and brick. The use of brick draws on the language of the street and its inherently rough nature is contrasted by the bronze, which is used to express details throughout the building in a precious and precise manner. This continues into the interior, where the stairs and floor plate at ground level are pulled back from the boundary walls to give a sense of space and legibility at the moment of entry with long views through the building. The staircase is cantilevered from the floor plates, allowing natural daylight to travel from a skylight at the top of the house deep into the lower ground level kitchen.