A Trio of Single-storey Extensions 

Victorian Semi-detached family home - Mapesbury, London | NW2



Planning has been approved for three, single-storey extensions to a Victorian, semi-detached family house in the Mapesbury Conservation Area in Northwest London, not far from Queens Park.  The house is one of a series of housing types built in the area between 1890-1910. They are well built red rubber brick houses with both Late Victorian and Early Victorian features. While compact, these houses have a great sense of space and volume with high ceilings and well-proportioned rooms.  

Extension proposed plan

Our client, a family of four, came to us with the ambition of improving their ground floor living space, with a better, fluid and spacious distribution of dining, kitchen and sitting areas. In addition to providing greater flexibility and balance to the layout, urgent attention was needed for the kitchen, which was pressed within the narrow space of the closet wing. This was not conducive to a family who’s daily life is centred on the gathering and communication around food and cooking. 

Proposed Extension elevation

The main design gesture comprises three complementary, single storey volumes in a play of similarity and difference. A central outrigger has two side return extensions, one on the West and the other on the East. The plan is a play of discrete yet fluidly connected spaces – both inside and outside – tied together with a series of arched openings, each somewhat differently sized.  As the house is in a conservation area, our approach sought to work within the framework of local planning policy and other similar extensions of the area. Throughout, we pursued a sensitive design strategy, using pitched roofs, careful detailing and selection of materials. Internally, many of the original details are intact. This was great for us as we maintained and worked with these to create an eclectic ensemble of elements, colours and materials varying in age and period.  

In process we grappled with the floor levels, sunlight, overlooking and a sensitivity to not encroach on the neighbouring properties in a harmful way. We felt it important to differentiate the extensions from the main house, by using a charcoal grey brick – setting up a relationship with the natural slate roofs. The brick has an angle to its face, which plays with light and depth as does the graduated brick arches. High-quality contemporary details and materials are proposed.

Construction is scheduled to start in 2020.


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