The intervention on this Victorian semi-detached house in northwest London, previously on multiple occupation, reconfigured the layout and transformed its material quality based on the degree to which the use of areas of the house had generally evolved since it was built. This is, the public areas were opened up and connected, extending to the rear and stripping out layers of finishes that had accumulated over time, while the form of the private quarters above had not significantly changed and their grand proportion and character remained valid to serve the clients and their young family’s needs.
The integration of the ground floor areas, besides a stronger connection to the garden through larger openings, relies on a continuous joinery element in oak incorporating the kitchen, storage and staircase, liberating the rest of the space from any fixed arrange- ment. The rear extension and side passage are clad in red cedar – quietly discernible from the aged brown brick façade – marking each window with a projecting hardwood fin.
The dense garden, planted by a former landscaper at Kew Gardens, includes exotic species, which are referenced by the fenestration arrangement. A large square window to the northeast brings the garden into the kitchen at an unexpectedly high level, magnifying the seasonal change and framing a leaning yucca & a Japanese maple in the background.