A Victorian end-of-terrace house in a conservation area in Hammersmith, west London, has been extended and remodelled internally to provide more suitable living spaces for a young family, with a study space for occasional home-working. The house also connects better with the under-used garden, which had been fully paved over.
Partly for planning reasons, the addition was conceived to be secondary to the main house, so the new kitchen/living extension is at a lower level, behind the existing side boundary wall. The priorities were to achieve simple volumes, to maximise natural light and use high-quality, crafted materials. Old and new are differentiated by using a handcrafted brick, manufactured by Petersen, in a contrasting colour and module, connecting the interior at ground level in yellow to the black textured brick of the study above. The dark brick of the first-floor study extension references the tone and richness of the existing weathered side elevation.
The new kitchen/living space opens to the rear garden through a stepped aluminium portal with large glazed openings, creating a frameless threshold between inside and outside. The internal palette of stone floor tiles (matching those used externally), the Petersen brick, a bespoke concrete worktop, textured black oak flooring and white-painted walls contrast with the existing building.
Research in the planning archives revealed that the site had an unimplemented consent for a garage building, and discussions with conservation officers led to an agreement about the massing and materiality for the new extension. Mock-ups were submitted to the local authority, with a preference to use brick as the facing material but in a different module and colour to the existing house.
The proportions between ‘served’ and ‘servant’ spaces have an inherent split which is reflected in the scale of the larger entertaining and relaxing spaces and the smaller bedrooms with hotel-style ensuite and utility spaces. The architect considered it important to retain the existing spatial proportions internally while also ensuring that the integrity of the historic terrace was maintained, with the new extension read as a new layer against the older building. A sedum roof at the perimeter of the lower roofs encourages biodiversity and gives upper rooms, particularly the study, a pleasant outlook, and visually linking them to the garden.