Delve Architects has completed its first residential project in Nunhead, South London, and it’s just been shortlisted for an NLA ‘Don’t Move, Improve’ Award. The existing, somewhat unloved, traditional Victorian house has been completely transformed by Delve to provide a contemporary and open space at the rear, while retaining a more traditional feel at the front of the house
The transition from ‘old to new’ occurs by stepping through a bespoke handcrafted bookcase, which leads into the wide, open contemporary kitchen space. Bifold doors open over a bespoke window seat so the owners can appreciate the morning light through the unusually large 60 ft garden.
In all rooms there is extensive attention to detail, as Delve designed all the bespoke joinery in the house creating a real feeling of craftmanship. The original fireplaces have been retained, the cornicing reinstated and original ceiling roses refurbished, to preserve some of the traditional character.
The home purposely uses a restricted palette of materials comprising dark cladding, birch ply and concrete. Materials have also been creatively used and selected to stay within budget and provide a tactile feel, such as the rubber flooring and exposed ply in the kitchen – Delve designed all the kitchen units. Sheet materials have been used and specially cut in the bathrooms rather than traditional tiling and Cor-ten planters and benches in the garden will naturally rust and provide visual interest. The kitchen worktop is produced by ‘Smile Plastics’ from recycled yoghurt pots and is white in colour with silver foil flecks, providing an interesting, textured and sustainably sourced finish.
On the first floor the three bedrooms have been completely reconfigured. The new master suite with ensuite shower has been moved to the rear of the house with garden views, while the other two bedrooms share a new bathroom. There are thoughtful design features such as a skylight above the stairwell to flood it with natural light and a utility area integrated within the landing space.
First time buyers, Kit and Imogen commented on their new home: “Delve worked tirelessly, turning the original plans inside out to come up with an inventive layout that thoughtfully reconsiders how to use a terraced house, whilst respecting its character. The joinery, which runs seamlessly through the house, was their greatest success and testament to their skills. Delve has created a journey through the house, that takes you out of city living, and into the magic of garden and open space at the back. Our favourite room is the music room at the core of the house – they have breathed new life into a part of Victorian terraces that often becomes just a walkway to the back of the house. Now it is both a magical entrance to the garden extension at the back, and a cosy space where books, guitars and pianos can be used. We couldn’t be happier with the sanctuary they have created for us.”
Edward Martin, Director at Delve comments: “We really listened to the client’s brief to create meaningful spaces. As they are keen gardeners we maximised this view on both the ground floor from the kitchen and also the first floor. We also created a music room for their instruments to celebrate their love of music. We set up Delve to do something a bit different and I think this project exemplifies this. The idea of the extended walk through bookcase and music area, provides an interesting transition between the old and the new and hopefully visitors when they step through will get their own ‘Narnia’ moment, which I think is a bit special.”