Hayhurst & Co Arch Hampstead Beach House

Source : Hayhurst & Co ArchitectsPhotography: Killian O'Sullivan
Date: February 15, 2014

Originally built as a single Victorian house, this four-storey property just south of Hampstead Heath had been converted into a pair of two-storey maisonettes in the 1970s and the lower floors extended to create extra space. These extensions created a series of dark, cellular spaces with little sense of fluidity to the existing Victorian rooms or connection to the outdoor spaces.

Our design for the reconfiguration of the ground and first floor accommodation started with the placement of a clear, clutter-free space in the centre of the plan like a rug in the middle of a room around which furniture and activities are organised. This rug – the tiled surface – extends to the outside and pulls the organisation of the internal and external areas together.

The white-stained larch cladding wraps around the inside and outside of the spaces to form seats, planting beds, storage areas and the kitchen units in the way that furniture is arranged around the perimeter of the rug in a traditional room. The cladding extends to form the rear elevation of the extension and includes openings for shutters with larch-clad shutters.

The reconfigured maisonette created a new kitchen, dining area, space for an armchair and ply-lined study in the middle of the plan lit from a skylight that could be closed off from the rest of the living areas.

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