This grand old terrace was full of charm but needed a careful and considered design solution to bring it into the 21st century. The terrace steps down to the rear and in doing so creates 7 different levels over the two floors + basement. The first challenge was to replace the narrow stair with a more rational, open and lightweight structure that connects all of these levels whilst allowing light to penetrate into the interior. A shop space at street level is being re-fitted with a new shop-front and joinery to house the headquarters of the owners lighting design consultancy. The new steel framed shop-front serves a contemporary insertion that sets the tone for what is revealed through the front door to the home beyond. Exposed steel structure and detailing are employed throughout, along with a consistent palette of raw finishes that complement the existing materiality.
Beyond the re-worked front door you immediately experience the new stair, and are able to see through the living spaces to the yard beyond. Half a level down the old living room embraces its position in the middle of the terrace as a warm and cosy 'snug'. Openings through to the re-worked dining and kitchen are rationalised with the use of a series of steel frames that frame the spaces beyond. The original cramped access to the basement level is replaced with an easily accessible stair that connects you to what will be an extension of the living area, complete with wine storage, new WC and workshop.
A simple new galley kitchen sits on the lower half of the rear section (the owners quite liked the many levels and quirkiness of the place) and a dining area runs out onto a new outdoor living space. This outdoor area again embraces the existing form of the house by creating an extrusion of the kitchen roof-line (existing) in the form of an exposed steel and timber awning which protects a banquet seat 'pillow' room.
Upstairs the brief included providing built in robes in the main bedroom, enlarging the existing bathroom and providing a new en-suite. A small but clever extension of the bathroom allows a separate bath and shower, whilst also providing a little reading nook to the guest bed / library. The many levels of the house worked in our favour when it came to finding space for the en-suite. Rather than taking up bedroom space the en-suite is conceived as a separate space, accessed by a bridge back over the stair void and on top of the existing bathroom.