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Church Road

Client:Private Residential



Awards:Dezeen Awards 2022: Urban House category - Longlist NLA Dont Move, Improve: Urban Oasis category - Winner AJ Retrofit Award - Nomination

Originally constructed in 2009 and set amongst some of the only remaining ancient oaks in London’s Highgate Conservation Area, this single-storey family home was touted as a forward-thinking timber framed building. Our sensitively contemporary refurbishment and extension of the property centred around a shared ethos of low-carbon construction whilst echoing the qualities of the ecologically-innovative original.

Asymmetrically nestled into a semi-sunken back garden plot, the fragmented nature of the internal arrangement posed a number of challenges requiring a unified response. Obstacles included bedrooms opening onto main entrances, and principal rooms suffering from a lack of connection to the garden. The proposed concept methodically addressed these constraints, creating a simpler flow and separation between communal and private spaces.

We repaired the disconnection between the landscape and the existing house through the provision of full height sliding doors and refurbished clerestory windows. Introducing sliding windows for all adjacent rooms also established a powerful visual and physical connection, combined with a new landscape strategy and the flourishing green roof. Both new and existing external timber are finished in black, helping the building sit effortlessly amongst the landscape.

A number of sustainability strategies were implemented inside and out, including the inclusion of temperature-controlled stack and cross ventilation, permeable paving, green roofs and flood protection. Prioritising the retention and upgrading of existing fabric where possible minimised embodied carbon. The primary timber structure and cladding of the original building were extended to create an architecturally and conceptually-sensitive addition that blurred the lines between old and new.

The formed directional vistas from each space provide concealed yet subtly interconnected spaces that exude privacy while helping to foster togetherness for the family.

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