House for Agnes

An existing Victorian terrace, expanded and reworked with electric red steel frame

Little had been done to this ex-council property in over three decades so extensive refurbishment was required throughout. The ambition was to combine and enhance the original features and character of the property with new contemporary additions to bring a sense of playfulness and expression to the home.

New openings were made to retain the sense of separation of the period layout yet open the plan for a free flowing living space from kitchen at the from to Reception at the rear on to the garden. The extensive openings were framed with oak at the front of the house between the Hall, kitchen and dining rooms. Period cornicing and skirtings are retained in the original part of the house but shadow gaps and flush skirtings are used in the new elements.

The new rear extension steps down to provide a sense of separation and further remove it from the street visually as well as physically and increase privacy. The exposed steelwork was highlighted in neon red to frame the view of the garden and form a composition with the contemporary fireplace and hearth at the heart of the family room. The vivid colour finds playfulness in expressing the structure of the extension and becomes the visual identity of the living spaces. The materiality follows the philosophy of the detailing moving into crisp contemporary concrete away from the softer oak at the front of the house.

A new basement was also created under the full footprint of the original house with a lightwell extending the front bay down to allow light to flood in. The new ceiling height was generous and significantly more than minimum to allow for a good connection with the ground floor and sense of continuation. This additional space afforded a utility room, storage and a bedroom suite/ family room.

Upper floors were also reconfigured for generous bedrooms and bathrooms to suit the growing family, including an extension of the closet wing to add a Study.

At the top of the house an interesting historic water tank space was opened up to create a library with joinery lining the walls and a supersized rooflight over flooding the stairwell with light.