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Cut and Frame House

Ashton Porter Architects

Project Name

Cut and Frame House

Project Status


Year Completed



  • General Contractor: Alan Wilson Shopfitters and Builders
  • Structural Engineer: Eckersley O’Callaghan & Partners

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Project Description


Complete refurbishment of a semi-detached home, reorganising the ground floor layout, altering the rear elevation and side elevation, and creating a writing space in the garden.

Reorganization of the ground floor layout of a two-storey semi-detached residential property and the replacing of a garden shed at the rear of the garden with a writing hut. The house design was driven by the requirement for both clients to work from home and both have separate spaces – one client being a children’s book author and the other a therapist. The connection between the house and the garden writing hut was therefore a key element of the project.

The existing house was completely internally remodelled and a series of historical, somewhat adhoc,compartmentalized additions and alterations were removed to provide improved, interconnected living spaces. A dramatic change in the spatial arrangement was achieved with no additional increase in floor area. The connection between hut and house is reinforced by framing elements. The main house has a floating seat of aluminium that becomes part of the internal seating of the house when the large glazed panels are slid away and a garden seat at other times. It is clad in highly contrasting anodised aluminium and hangs from a discreet steel frame cantilevering from within the existing house. The reciprocal aluminium element to the writing hut can either be an elevated seat with access
internally by steps or a display for artefacts and artwork. The datum for both frame pieces is exactly the same, whereas the seating position and thus the view point is altered by the slope on the site. This site is landscaped in small terraces to compensate for the change in level. The large glazed panels enable the garden to become part of the living space and thus the writing hut whilst providing privacy and tranquility from family life is still very connected.

The project has enabled the clients and their two children to live and work from their home in North London, with out any compromise. It enables them to save an enormous amount of time and money in travel and to spend more time as a family.
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