We were approached by the owner of this land-locked triangular property in Primrose Hill, North London to produce a feasibility study addressing the reorganisation and reconfiguring of the existing interior to eradicate the huge floor area presently given over to circulation. Having had several architects propose schemes prior to us, all differing in overall impact and aesthetic, our challenge was to analyse the current access, room functions and establish the most efficient use of space given the unusual and challenging plot constraints.
Our proposed vision seeks to address the major problems of the house through the creation of more regular and functional floor spaces on each level. After analysing the existing plot we felt it necessary to try and stack the staircases to create more efficient floorplate where the vertical ascent through the property can be contained in a single location.
Despite the proposed net internal floor area being compromised of a large portion dedicated to circulation and in excess of the current layout the proposed location allows for a more functional use of space. The new key living spaces are located to the front overlooking the main street, bathrooms located centrally and the vertical stair core the rear. The kitchen is retained in its current location but the staircase is relocated to run along the opposite party wall to allow it to enter the ground floor plan away from the direct view of the front door.
The addition of the rear extension, albeit shallower than currently consented by Camden, is given over to circulation and a void space to create a double height light shaft. As well as maximising the potential of the rear stairwell it is our intention to wrap a simple, refined stair around this central void. This opening-up then allows for the creation of a lightwell, permitting daylight via a rooflight above and through a number of existing rear window openings.
Due to the irregular footprint of the property and the necessity to relocate the staircase as proposed, we envisage the all structural floors and related beams/joists being removed. This then allows for the ‘insertion’ of a stacked element while exposing of the new structural timber joists unifying the stair with the structural core. This creates a strong aesthetic as well as giving the feeling of a more generous ceiling height to each level. Internally three bedrooms are maintained with a combination of ensuite and bathrooms served in the room directly or off the staircase. In order to make the internal rooms more regular it is proposed that bespoke joinery/wardrobes etc can form more rectilinear footprints throughout while still maintaining the unique splayed wall which is a key feature of the plot.
The materiality of the stair and the balustrade would be designed to permit or limit light as can the partition that forms the bedroom/bathroom walls where glass screens (obscured or transparent) can be utilised to provide borrowed light to the now centralised stacked bathrooms.
We are currently compiling a new planning submission to alter the previously consented structural glass addition to the rear of the proper – this is key to our proposed stacked staircase serving all floors from one single location.
Feasibility. January 2018