Sash House

Full refurbishment of a terraced house with a super-sized counterbalanced sash window to the rear

A key strategy for this slim and tall property was the elimination of half landings and the rationalisation of floor levels throughout the property. This created singular floor plates at each level with seamless spaces running uninterrupted from the back of the house to the front.

A fundamental reworking of the vertical circulation was necessary to link each floor, so we created a slim folded metal winding staircase that was pulled back from the elevation internally to form a triple height void with a roof light above. This illuminated areas that would typically be deprived of natural light in the deep plan of this house.

A series of oak fins act as a screen between the stair and circulation, and living areas adding a rich material continuity to all floors. The strong geometric lines of the folded staircase are clearly read behind the screen and the light is softly diffused through the oak fins on all levels.

A glazed extension infills the void between the existing and neighbouring closet wings to maximise the floor areas. These spaces are linked by means of a double height void with a super-sized counter balanced glazed sash. When the sash is open, the rear yard becomes part of both the dining and living space which is an incredibly efficient use of the space available.

The concept behind this counterbalanced sash window was largely driven by the existing closet wing articulation along the terrace, where all existing infill extensions have prominent horizontal transoms which had to be incorporated in this instance too for Planning compliance. When closed this glazed unit clearly reads as horizontal and avoids an over emphasis on the vertical despite its height. The result was a contemporary and minimal glazed extension that satisfied all the statutory requirements outlined by both the planning and conservation officer.