Kew House involved the complete re-structuring of a Victorian London house and former stable yard in Richmond, turning a house of many small rooms into a series of orchestrated spaces that allow the house to breathe and flow. The project principally involved the building of a rear extension, comprising of two chamfered forms nestling together. Externally, the extension sits in sharp contrast to the background of the painted-out rear façade of the original house – standing proud and distinct, with walls of pale and pitted masonry bedded down on lime mortar applied roughly and heavily brushed across the brick face. The simplicity of the exterior belies the complexity of concealed structures, interlocking pitched roofs and wedge shaped walls – all neatly resolved so as not to compromise the purity of form. The faceted nature of the exterior is accentuated by tapering window and door reveals – their depth and shadow lend a massive quality which, together with the rough pointed brickwork and grounding concrete plinths, results in a structure possessed with a sense of mass and permanence, as though carved out of a rock.
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