BLACKHEATH HOUSE

Working with the existing to enhance and celebrate a new beginning

To sit, cook and contemplate - as if amongst the garden – ensconced in the light and nature of the space…to enhance the rituals of everyday life

 

The work here extends and remodels the kitchen, living room and garden courtyard of an Edwardian house in South London. The intention was to open up and link the kitchen and living spaces to the garden and create a harmonious union between different types of space and function: traditional and modern, indoor and outdoor, cooking and living. Embedding the subtle and playful echoes of the house’s existing traditional details into a new space. 

 

During the design process it was important to study the historic qualities of the house; the existing details of ceiling moldings, window and door details. We designed each new element of the space to playfully echo these traditional forms with a refined contemporary style. The extensions roof creates a dynamic internal space that draws one into the garden, each section of the ceiling is clad in individual pieces of birch ply. The twisting roof detail allows for the playful positioning of a series of skylights, with oak detailing to allow light from different directions and planes. 

 

The timber frame was made in our London workshop along with bespoke in built furniture including a window seat, cupboard storage space, a work desk and a day bed. Between the functions of the kitchen and the day bed is a wood stove to keep the space warm in the winter months. The floor of the extension is a beautiful reclaimed wood laid to intersect the existing floor of the kitchen. 

Between the daybed and the window seat there is a step down to a tiled floor area that opens at the same height as the courtyard.

 

Bespoke kitchen cupboards with SASA made handles flank the long wall in the modern kitchen space. Each furniture piece was individually designed for this project and crafted from European Oak with traditional joinery techniques. The living room area includes a new bay window with glazing set at different planes, creating spaciousness within the room and a connection with the garden.

 

From the outside the roof of the extension is made with black rubber to create a roofline that is slender to the eye. The gutters are bespoke made to compliment the scale of the roof. The courtyard inspired by a recent trip to Venice, is formed from a mixture of stone and insitu cast concrete sections – pigmented in a series of different tones. The new brickwork, was completed by a heritage bricklayer, working with lime and reclaimed yellow stock bricks, making the new align materially with the existing.

The result is a space that is entirely new and at the same time speaks perfectly to the house’s existing proportions – presenting a quirky and stylish interior. 

The building featured in Open House London Architecture weekend 2012.

“The best extension I have ever seen for its harmony and continuum”

A visitor at Open House 2012

Material list

 European Oak, concrete tiles, reclaimed yellow stock brick, black rubber, travertine stone, insitu- cast concrete, sheep’s wool insulation