The design of the exterior responds to the conditions on each edge of the site. The main volume continues the parapet line of the Victorian pub to the east, which is a protected building, and the horizontal lines of the cladding system relate to the window heights of the older building. Due to a high level of traffic noise, the north façade has very few openings but an appropriate degree of visual lightness is maintained by the aluminium cladding. With the availability of light and views in the direction of the canal, the south façade is more heavily fenestrated and the vertical height is broken by a two-storey extension whose triangular plan is determined by the divergent angle between the road and canal. The height of the extension connects with the roofs of the neighbouring workshop and buildings on the south side of the canal.
In section, each floor is conceived in a manner which is consistent with its purpose and is largely independent of the arrangements above or below. Whatever their differences, the organisation of these floors is also conditioned by the bay structure of the steel frame and the existence of other levels is acknowledged by exposing the underside of the floor construction, and dematerialising it with mirror. The role of the frame in this strategy is concealed on the lower floors but is more apparent in the living space. Its underlying significance is, however, strongly suggested by the exposure of an I-section on a post, at the west end of the front façade.
Although the new floors are open to the south, the singularity of this arrangement is obscured by changes to the section of the façade: the mirrored slots overlooking the canal, the enclosed court on the first floor, and the colonnaded gallery on the second floor. From the archaeological character of the basement, to the screened forecourt at ground level, the sense of enclosure in the guest and acoustic rooms compared with the expansive privacy of the master bedroom, the lose formality of the living space, and the open vistas of the roof terrace: the house offers a wide range of locations for different activities and states of mind. In this context, the staircases are designed to promote choice and continuity within a range of scenarios.