LocationLondon, United Kingdom
Structural engineerThomas Hallam Consulting Limited
Services engineerEnvironmental Engineering Partnership
Text description provided by the architects. The existing house, is the home of a family with two young children. The former ground floor layout was biased towards the front of the house. A playroom, dining space and kitchen were arranged within an undefined open space, oriented towards the street and the party wall of a neighbouring extension. The brief was to reconfigure and extend the ground floor in order to improve the connection to the garden.
The new ‘garden room’ inverts the former street-facing layout. Benefiting from the afternoon light, this space forms the new heart of the house, incorporating kitchen, dining and play area for the children. The kitchen layout is turned 90 degrees to face the garden.
The flank and rear walls of the original extension were removed at ground floor level in order to accommodate the new extension with side return. The space is tectonically defined by the new structural elements, which bear the load of the floor above.
The former bay window arrangement was reinterpreted as one large opening with a deep window seat, corresponding with the depth of the first floor bay window. A movable oak framed window allows the space to open towards the terrace. The children's toys are stored in large drawers underneath the upholstered window bench.
A generous roof light, along the length of the room, washes the new party wall with natural daylight. Level access to the garden is via a 1.2m wide and 2.5m high timber framed glass door.
The existing narrow outdoor terrace was enlarged to form a patio. The pre-cast concrete window sill and masonry plinth serve as seating areas, while a new timber fence structures the garden and was designed to form a back rest along the masonry bench.
The former drawing room was reinstated in its original shape and new ancillary functions, grouped in the central area of the plan.
Lime washed masonry, precast concrete, and white oiled oak were used throughout. Precast concrete was used for the sill, lintel and copings. The precast elements are composed of white limestone aggregates and white cement, and sandblasted to a rough finish. The structural components were clad in oak veneer internally, matching the floor boards and built-in furniture. The work surfaces in the kitchen are formed of single concrete slabs with exposed aggregates and a honed finish.