The project brief was to design a reading room and study for a 1950’s, end-of-terrace house. The challenge was to create a spacious and light filled extension within a confined north London garden that was both sympathetic to the original house and a characterful addition to the property.
The clients have raised three children in the house since the 1970’s, improving and extending the property over time to adapt to their family’s changing needs. Now both retired, these latest changes create a new, intimate space, just for them.
The extension is designed around a large picture window projecting out to the patio and garden. The new study encloses against an existing garden wall. Bespoke joinery and desks are carefully integrate in the building form, giving home to an extensive collection of artefacts and books collected over the years. The result is a tranquil space for work and reflection.
A folding façade of glass and oak clads the extension and wraps back against the existing house, tying together old and new. Oak lining internally establishes a continuity of materials inside and out and draws the occupant’s views to the garden.
Oak clad planters extend along the garden wall and stich the building into the existing landscape. The old bricks provide a textured and warm backdrop to the new oak lining, flowers and greenery. A small bench on top of the planter provides a place to sit amongst the flowers and rest against the garden wall.
Timber and glass was chosen to complement the existing brick house and pick up on the original timber detailing around all building openings. The versatility of timber enabled its use in many different applications, from structure to cladding, joinery and flooring. Within such a confined space maintaining a limited palette of materials was key to harmonising new and old, inside and out.