The idea for the project was to work only within the existing site dimension and building fabric, to build or add nothing, to find the hidden spaces and to make those spaces work better for contemporary life.
A greater sense of space was encouraged by taking down walls, manipulating existing openings, allowing more light to fall on walls and floor, creating long and diagonal views, making connections between family rooms feel easier and more fluid.
In the hallway, a wall in the corner has been removed and replaced with an oak and glass screen, which then extends into the living and dining spaces, drawing the eye deep into the sunny garden outside. The oak screen then traces the line of a wall removed, and sits flush with the solid oak floor.
To the rear cedar windows are used, to the front new double glazed steel windows, made by the same manufacturer who made the original windows for this house in 1937, have been used to return this house to its 1930’s splendour.
An existing kitchen return – once the most ordinary space in the house – is now the most extraordinary. A hand built plywood kitchen is made for the room, building itself around existing east facing windows to allow morning light into the space. The room is lined in plywood outside, making it special, marking the social significane of the kitchen in domestic life.
Externally, this return is insluated and clad in cedar boards, which will be allowed to weather grey over time. Cedar is used on ground and wall surfaces, on liners to the cedar windows, and in a new garden greenhouse – so all parts of the outside will blend and weather to a singular warm hue, over time, as the garden itself grows and matures.