Boxes & ribbons: the fragmented house completes in East London

This project is one of six projects we have completed on one and the same road. It lies within the Driffield Road Conservation Area of Tower Hamlets in East London. The convoluted Victorian, terraced house required drastic re-shuffling of its functions in order to unlock and add additional space to this home of a family of five.

Driven by budget limitations we decided early on to keep the structural interventions to a minimum. Existing openings acted as a setting out points for the new spaces. Despite that we have managed to add an additional bedroom, a bathroom, a laundry drying room and a new dining area with a multi-functional lounge adjacent. The latter also meant that the existing dining room could be merged with the living room.

Two levels of ‘boxes’ clad in different tones of grey fibre-cement boards have been carefully stacked on the rear elevation and are interrupted by ‘ribbons’ of glass. The glazing emphasises the three-dimensionality whilst allowing for a controlled flow of daylight whilst maintaining privacy. An extra-large skylight hovers dramatically above the dining table.

The interior is kept functional and minimal in white with a pale oak herringbone floor throughout. The bathrooms are finished in a beige honed limestone. A stunning bronze-tinted mirrored kitchen island reflects its surroundings. Various brass details refine the otherwise limited material palette.

The ground floor has received a new wall separating the means of escape from the existing living room in order to address the Building Control short-comings with regards to the fire strategy. However, a sense of openness has been maintained by providing large, pivoted door panels that can be folded away. The new wall also provides the substrate for an interesting display of the client’s vinyl collection.