This once grand and well-proportioned semi-detached Victorian house in London’s Westbourne Grove had become a shadow of its former self. Many years of insensitive, piecemeal alterations and extensions including a large 1970s rear extension that dominated the back of the house had taken a heavy toll. The clients approached Nash Baker Architects, to formulate a scheme to rebuild the rear extension and rationalise the upper and lower ground floors: Rather than live between small individually purposed rooms they wanted an open plan lifestyle with larger and more versatile spaces conducive to modern family living.
We wanted to consider the property holistically which meant tackling the circulation and flow throughout the dwelling. The final scheme proposed creating a new staircase running through the entire house, solving the property’s short-comings in one go. The new extension was conceived as a contemporary addition which would help create large flowing spaces with plenty of natural light and a strong connection with the garden.
The new staircase is positioned to the side of the entrance hall and spirals around a large open stairwell flooded with natural light from south facing windows and a large roof light. The kitchen and dining room are situated at the back of the house with access to the raised outdoor terrace and garden. A small TV area is formed in the middle of the plan with large sliding doors leading to the more formal reception room at the front of the house.
The master suite is spread out over the entire first floor whilst the top floor incorporates three equal sized bedrooms. A large electrically operated roof light on the top landing allows cool air to be pulled up through the house during the summer, and the sun’s warmth to penetrate in winter, eliminating the need for air conditioning in these bedrooms.
Externally, the family room on the lower ground floor projects into the south facing garden, acting as a plinth for the new glazed extension. This bespoke structural glass element aligns with the existing house and the spaces within, helping to create a sense of the terrace being a continuation of the living rooms. A strong vertical copper clad section of the extension reflects the proportions of the existing side wing and visually connects the lower and upper floors. Specially orientated timber louvers provide shading during the summer months and also help to soften the appearance of over 6 meters of vertical glazing. Green sedum roofs over the extension give additional habitat for wildlife and pleasant views from the upper floors.
The project is a contemporary and bold design which sits harmoniously within its surroundings. The interiors are spacious, bright and calming, making for a perfect family home.
Photography: George Sharman
Type: Residential / Private
Location: Westbourne Grove
Size: 3627 sq/feet
Build Contractor: Bancroft Heath Ltd
Interior Design: Harriet Forde Design
Garden Design: Charlotte Rowe