The clients fell in love with the property’s period features but soon realised that its small kitchen and dark dining room did not match the vision they had of family life. However, they didn’t want to lose the small garden, which is the house’s only outdoor area and which they’d come to enjoy as a green and play space.
The brief therefore was to create a light, bright and spacious kitchen/dining room within the existing building envelope. We had to respect the period features – but introduce the echoes of an industrial aesthetic from the client’s favourite restaurant.
Our solution was to consider the outside and inside as one room. Squaring off the house with a steel and timber-framed side extension released the internal space, allowing the creation of one spacious garden-facing room. The outdoors became part of the kitchen with the use of full-width doors and a triple-glazed roof light that maximised space and brought sunlight into the kitchen. Exterior lighting allows the clients to move the dining room outside when weather permits.
While we were extending the family areas, we also excavated a basement out of the existing cellar. The clients wanted this space to be a playroom, cinema room and guest suite with shower room. Drawing on the heydays of British cinema we installed fluted timber panelling that conceals full-height storage and discreet sliding doors. A light well on the front elevation is finished in raw concrete to tie in with the finishes in the rear garden.
Creating a basement room with three distinctly different functions presented us with a challenge. The space needed to provide ample storage to allow it to be used during the day as a playroom for two young children before returning to adult use in the evening; occasionally becoming a guest suite for visiting grandparents. We took our inspiration from deco-revivalist post-war cinemas. Bespoke fluting was routed out of solid softwood and laminated onto plywood substrates. The resulting timber panelling was used to conceal the full height storage and wrap around to link the neighbouring shower room into the space when used as a guest room. In home-cinema mode, concealed, fluted, doors slide into place and blend into the wall panelling.
Finishing the timber in rich chocolate tones gave the space the feeling of warmth that can easily be lost in basement spaces. Recessed cornices and skirting were finished in gold to reflect concealed lighting; providing an atmospheric accent light at the head and base of the panelling.
APE Architecture & Design is a dynamic practice based in
Southwark, South London. Established in 2012 by Dan Gibbons,
our aim is to combine proven low-energy building techniques
with innovative design solutions to deliver truly sustainable and
socially responsible schemes.
The practice undertakes a wide variety of projects from
bespoke furniture and house extensions to urban master
planning and prestige civic schemes. The work of the practice
has already been short-listed for a Building Trust International
competition and has been exhibited at London’s Garden
For all scales of project we work closely with craftsmen and
manufacturers to gain a better of understanding of the
construction processes; which is fed back into our design. As
a result we are able to deliver projects that often combine
surprising materials with traditional techniques.
Contribuisci con il tuo voto