House Refurbishment | Downside | North West London

Interior Design / Listed and Conservation / Refurbishment

forresterarchitects have avoided the conventional rear extension to a full house refurbishment in Belsize Park, North London.

The semi-detached Villa’s of Belsize Park are closely built houses. Only the small side passages between them conceal almost secret garden environments beyond. The neighbouring houses seemingly form the boundaries to the gardens, which are long, wide and mature in foliage. This is the setting for our latest full house refurbishment.

The house is a well-proportioned five-bedroom property. The upper floors are remodeled to remove previous compromises to each bedroom with new ensuite bathrooms provided to each. The living rooms to the ground floor are generously proportioned. As with many Victorian houses the existing kitchen is small. Only a modest sink window offers a glimpse of the garden beyond.

The client wanted the house to feel better connected to the garden.  A series of angled facets is used to establish a notional hierarchy to the kitchen.  The facets expressed as solid and void walls provide a level of transparency and privacy between the house, garden and the neighbours beyond. The staggered configuration creates views of the garden and provides a unique architectural solution. It avoids the uninspired full width house extension. The roof projects beyond the building edge to provide a simple solar shading device to the southeasterly aspect of the extension.

The roof is formed in timber and painted with a special Swedish preservative paint treatment that produces a beautiful matt red finish. A stepped plinth of York stone provides a new garden terrace to the lawn. The rear bay window is retained and heavy brick piers removed to allow more natural daylight in.

The ceiling is expressed as exposed timber joists which double to discreetly incorporate the LED strip lighting. Exposed brickwork walls compliment the subtle warmth of the bespoke kitchen design with a under-counter units running the length of the kitchen. High-level kitchen cupboards have been reduced to avoid the room feeling constricted.

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