Redesign of an 19th century “L” shaped double-fronted home, part of a terrace of five Lillian Villas
“The project is a remodelling and extension to a house in a conservation area for a young family. The Brackenbury House forms part of a terrace of five Lillian Villas built in 1879. The “L” shaped double-fronted villas are brick and stucco faced, two-storey high, with front gardens forming a landscaped frontage, set back from the street.
Dutch born, Niels Swinkels works for Universal Pictures and is passionate about the aesthetic of sci-fi films. Erica Swinkels [Swedish / British], asked for a palette of natural earthy materials and was keen for us to retain as much of the existing fabric of the building and re-cycle it as we reconfigured the house to make it work better for them as a family.
The ambitions for the project were high in terms of achieving open plan, visually connected spaces to allow for a greater sense of communication between the different rooms. The client wanted to make the house feel connected to the outside through framed views to the garden and to allow as much natural light in as possible.
Our design adds a new basement and rear extension, providing an expanded living and kitchen space, sky lit sun-filled bathrooms, a home cinema, playroom and guest bedroom. We sought to create an innovative design solution – rethinking the basement typology in a contemporary way to ensure it was both a light-filled but could also be used in a multi-functional way – as a playroom for their young son or a sophisticated cinema viewing room.
The conceptual approach was to create a calm atmospheric interior using carefully selected unified palette of materials stitching the modern design into its historic context within the conservation area. Materials work well together due to the inherent relationships between re-used historic materials juxtaposed with modern industrial elements.
The new basement area is lit by large skylights cut into the floors above. All levels are opened out to allow the existing rooms of the Victorian house to give way to an open plan interior on the ground floor and tall loft like spaces upstairs. The kitchen and living rooms open out to a south-west facing patio, creating a strong connection between house and garden.
All the ceilings in the upper floors were removed, allowing the tall loft-like ceiling spaces to be exposed with large skylights flooding the home with natural light. The bathrooms are top lit by generous skylights linking bathing spaces to the sky above.”
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