Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
Incorporating the outline of a previous extension to create a unique façade, this project celebrates the passing of time to create a calming, changing home.
The demolition of the original extension and its replacement called for an intervention that can be a part of the original main building without replicating classical vocabulary or gesture. The design intent was to keep a sense of everyday memory, while simultaneously allowing the new intervention to have its own identity.
The original extension had no distinct historical or architectural value, and was structurally unsound, but it had a sloop roof profile typical of those found in terrace house back gardens. This banality was incorporated in the new face of the rear garden –persevering its charm to carry some sense of associated memory to those who know it or those who see it new.
One of the existing walls had been leaning at a displacement of about one brick thick towards an adjacent building. These significant old movements were registered as cracks on the leaning wall and have now been revealed and retained within the corridor.
The structures of the new envelope have been exposed internally wherever practically possible, so that these surfaces will register the future stories of the house. The hand marks of bare plaster finish is left exposed in the bedrooms are now registered on the internal faces of the building’s fabric. The slow patination of bespoke copper and brass fittings shows the passage of time as they change from their original colour. By registering these notions of memories and stories, the clutters of daily life could fully inhabit the space.
The master bedroom in the new extension is beautifully detailed and thought out. Unusually, the space has light from two sides, an external window looking to the garden and an internal window looking across the central void and into the child’s bedroom, creating a unique sense of light and space within what might otherwise be a fairly conventional room.
This is a very clever project, which brings an entirely fresh approach to the terraced house/ extension typology, and indeed an inventive and exciting approach to conservation. Age, patina and even structural faults are lovingly preserved and deftly combined with bold abstraction. One of the existing walls had been leaning at a displacement of about one brick thick towards an adjacent building. These significant old movements were registered as cracks on the leaning wall and have now been revealed and retained within the corridor.