Victorian townhouse refurbishment & extension: Islington, London

James Rippon James Rippon
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In the UK, the term “Conservation Area” usually refers to an urban area considered worthy of preservation or enhancement because of its special architectural or historic interest. Located in Canonbury, in North London, is one such area; a pocket of Islington with quiet tree-lined streets, with a number of locally listed Victorian homes. Local councils create their own list of historic buildings in their area, separate to the statutory lists created by larger governing bodies. These separate local listings are created in the hope that home owners will recognise the merits of their properties, and consider their listing if making any extensions or remodelling to their homes.

This locally listed Victorian home in Islington has seen a complete renovation, with the interior refurbished throughout, and the rear of the home extended across two levels, with a small office on the second floor, and an open-plan living area on the ground floor. Designed by local firm Lipton Plant Architects, let's see how they went about modernising this beautiful London townhouse.

Blue slate brickwork

A Brick and a Half house: minimalistic Houses by Lipton Plant Architects
Lipton Plant Architects

A Brick and a Half house

Lipton Plant Architects

Blue slate bricks were the chosen material for the new addition, contrasting against the existing weathered brickwork, yet still helping to restore some of the original elegance of the property. The addition of large glass panels ensured the brief of the home owners was met; to maximise light in their new home. With a little extra width than the average, similar-sized London townhouse, Lipton Plant Architects were able to maximise this advantage, adding sliding glass doors that open up the extension to the lush rear garden.

A walk-on glass roof

A Brick and a Half house:  Corridor & hallway by Lipton Plant Architects
Lipton Plant Architects

A Brick and a Half house

Lipton Plant Architects

The roof of the extension has been constructed from glass, again meeting the owners brief, while also adding a unique selling point to the home. The walk-on glass roof can be accessed through a window in the second floor living room.

Dissection

A Brick and a Half house: minimalistic Kitchen by Lipton Plant Architects
Lipton Plant Architects

A Brick and a Half house

Lipton Plant Architects

The two storey addition is dissected by the row of bricks running in the opposite direction to the rest of the brickwork. This row of bricks is called a soldier course, which serves a purely visual purpose, adding interest to the masonry.

So as not to interfere with the sharp lines and contrast drawn by the distinct extension, invisible glass has been used as the guard railing, which is only visible if looked at closely.

From above

A Brick and a Half house: minimalistic Garden by Lipton Plant Architects
Lipton Plant Architects

A Brick and a Half house

Lipton Plant Architects

When viewed from above, we get a real sense of the sheer size of the glass roof, and just how much more open and airy the ground floor must feel compared to a conventional roof.

The perfect home office

A Brick and a Half house: minimalistic Study/office by Lipton Plant Architects
Lipton Plant Architects

A Brick and a Half house

Lipton Plant Architects

The second floor office, with its glass roof and wall, allows ample light to flood the space, and offers an uninterrupted view of the perfectly manicured garden. Overall, this is a lovely extension that enhances the heritage of the existing building, while modernising the home for its occupants, and adding a unique selling point for the future.

Want to view more London extension or renovation projects? Then check out these two ideabooks:

-Modern renovation of a Victorian home, East London

-Berry Bros. & Rudd store- London

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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