High House / Dallas-Pierce-Quintero
- Photographs: Francesco Russo, The Modern House
Manufacturers: Douglas Fir
Text description provided by the architects. Sited atop a steep hill in Hackney, East London, this remodelling of a Victorian terrace house creates a light and airy contemporary family home rich in character. The house’s location has been maximised with a rooftop extension that lets in abundant sunlight and opens up views across London.
The existing house didn’t provide enough rooms, nor the quality of spaces that the clients needed. The proposed design sought to improve the flow between spaces and bring coherency to the house. Construction works included the demolition of the existing single-storey rear extension and its replacement with a two-storey extension to open up the ground floor living area and create a family bathroom. Key to the success of these spaces was the decision to relocate and simplify the staircase to allow improved access between floors.
At ground floor the lounge, dining room and kitchen flow into each other, with exposed steel beams and roof joists complimenting the original Victorian features and plasterwork. The wide planks of new Douglas fir flooring unite the ground floor rooms and brings warmth and added texture to the spaces. At the back of the property, the new extension accommodates a generous kitchen with large windows looking onto a mature garden.
The new timber lined staircase incorporates clever shoe drawers within the stair treads and bike storage behind. A matching timber-clad wall at first floor conceals the door to the large family bathroom and adjoining laundry room. Housed in the new extension, the ceilings and exposed joists of these rooms are sloped to match the roof pitch, with a large roof light positioned above the oversized family bath. Concrete tiles and basins contrast with polished brass fixings to create a contemporary feel.
The addition of a new mansard roof extension houses the open-plan master bedroom, including an ensuite toilet, twin shower room, and roof terrace with views of the City. Teak decking in the new shower room runs through to the outside terrace, separated by a black-framed Crittall screen, visually linking the inside and outside. Storage has been hidden within the walls so that the focus of the bedroom is on large views outside at either end of the room. The new oak staircase to the master suite creates a continuous vertical element that connects the ground level to the upper floors.
“Our emphasis was on rationalising the plan of the house and exploring the look and feel of materials. The relationship between these is crucial for creating a warm and calm interior; a refuge from the hustle and bustle of city life.”
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