220 m² / 2,368 ft²
We stripped this disused women’s refuge back to its Victorian brick shell to conjure two generous flats for a brother and sister.
With a brief for four bedrooms, two kitchens, two living rooms, three bathrooms and shared amenities, every ounce of our spatial ingenuity was required in a complete redesign and rebuild of the interior. We also enlarged the windows and added a two-storey rear extension.
No element was overlooked: we added thermal and acoustic insulation and damp proofing, and improved the exterior of the house, repairing stonework, restoring window proportions to match the rest of the street, and adding interesting brick details to the lower extension. This striving for quality and craftsmanship has transformed what was once the shabbiest house on the street into the most attractive.
Equally important, however, was bringing charm and a distinctive character to each flat, through attention to light, colour, craftsmanship, materials and the journey into and through each space.
Where the top floor is pale and amply daylit, we deployed rich colour in strategic bursts for the darker ground floor, while drawing light as deep into the interior as possible. Warm orange colours and rich textures transform a windowless en-suite into a hotel-quality shower room.
Bespoke kitchen units in the central, deepest part of the ground floor reach all the way up to the 2.7m ceiling to maximise storage and are painted a deep green. Daylight pours in from Critall-style windows looking onto the shared back patio and from a large skylight over the dining area, creating a very social ground floor living space.
The upstairs flat is accessed directly from the street via an orange front door situated through an original side gate. It opens onto a deep blue painted stairwell, with hand-built staircase coiling up two floors in pale birch ply, opening onto a light-filled, open-plan kitchen/workspace.
A further staircase takes you up into the newly extended mansard roof, where there are two bedrooms and a bathroom.
We worked closely with the clients throughout, advising on the initial potential (the property was purchased at auction), securing planning permission, dealing with change of use and working within the PP confines as well as meeting conservation area restrictions so that we could achieve two rear extensions, adding up to 4.5m.