In order to modernise and increase the floor area of this three-bed Warner property in Walthamstow DEDRAFT undertake a feasibility study identifying the potential for expansion on multiple levels. The existing floor plan had seen some minor modifications over the years, including a modest, low rear extension however the internal divisions were to more traditional, small room sets that created a limitation to specific functions.
The client was particularly keen to maintain the low-slung, broad, horizontal proportions throughout the depth of the ground floor, with any additional floor space maintaining this framed view out over the 30m deep garden. In direct contrast to so many other DEDRAFT projects it was less about forming additional height and more about creating open, but well-articulated space that offers the potential for a flexible living – being open when desired, yet more enveloping, homely and domestic in scale also.
Open to some external experimentation our design sought to form strong concrete elements that appear to act both ground and support the new additions in contrast to the yellow London stock brickwork. The first element is a cast-insitu, grit-blasted plinth that turns vertically, eliminating joints and providing a central delineation in the form of a large T-shaped, concrete flying lintel with the underlying deep reveal of the rear doors allowing it to wrap in under and around, enveloping and forming a protected threshold between the interior and exterior.
The cast-insitu blasted concrete elements are further continued in the other horizontal elements on two levels in the parapet copings to cap each vertical apex, as a subtle datum. In stark contrast to these cast forms bold, green encaustic cement tiles clad both the ground and first floor which rises above as a monolithic entity punctured only with two narrow vertical slot openings. These square format tiles are then further reinforced internally in the form of bespoke terracotta tiles forming the floor to the kitchen.
A loft conversion is also being undertaken to form a master suite with the decision made to sacrifice floor area to allow for the creation of a double-height curved, stairwell which is top-lit via a large, circular rooflight. Rising vertically a solid Douglas Fir staircase and wall cladding folds to produce a naturally warm and cocooning entry to the upper bedroom.
The interiors are kept natural and simple, eliminating the need for any complex and visually jarring details. Throughout walls and ceilings are finished in through-coloured plaster, with large format whitened and oiled Douglas Fir flooring allows the spaces to flow seamlessly, linking spaces of varying function. The new rear extension features exposed Fir structural joists ceiling creating a reassuringly warm. gentle rhythm directing ones view out over the rear garden,
All windows and doors are being replaced with natural, grey and white oiled Oak, re-proportioning the frames to remove unnecessary casements to purposefully address maximum functionality and aesthetic. Rear doors features higher base rails to once again help frame the view out and add warmth.
Project services being provided –
Obtain Planning / PD Consent
Obtain Building Control Approval
Monitoring during Construction
Completed. March 2021