Flooded with natural light, this four storey town house on a restricted fan shaped site provides a live-work space complete with courtyard garden and rooftop terrace for an interior architect and art director couple and their family.
(max visitors 6)
(max visitors 6)
Architectural practice, Residence
Incorporated in the 70s into the somewhat eccentric Althorpe Grove Estate the house was saved from demolition along with 17th century pub on the corner and the Royal Laundry on Westbridge Road. The new housing scheme followed the scale of the salvaged buildings and helped to establish a new trend of low rise housing in the urban redevelopment policy of Greater London Council, which was more sympathetic to the existing historic context thanks to the whimsical GLC architect Nicholas Wood, a pupil of Sir Leslie Martin.
The present unique front resembles that of a narrow Amsterdam town house with decorative stone window surrounds at first and second floor level and a ground floor betraying earlier commercial use possibly as a cafe. The cobbled stone path interrupting the pavement in front of the double door is a reminder of a former external passage way leading to the back of the property. Beyond the entrance now lies a generous hallway with the staircase leading to the first floor.
The extensive use of steel supports allowed for an open plan drawing room to occupy the whole of the first floor and for a better use of limited space at ground floor level.
Internally the house was totally rearranged with a new layout, a loft conversion, a rear extension and a three storey staircase tower at the back.
The footprint is trapezoid in shape, a wedge without a tip. The task was to work with the angled walls at every level to create harmonious and useful spaces. A Dutch weave pattern oak parquet laid at 45º to the front wall of the house was chosen for first floor drawing room and a chevron pattern in the same colour on every other floor to distract the eye from the converging lines of the external walls.
The former café became a design studio doubling up as a dining room.
Large sliding panel retracts to reveal the rear extension with a glazed walk-on roof light. The addition of a glazed box with sliding-folding doors connects the kitchen to the courtyard and the communal garden beyond while providing extra space for a table.