The Scarcely Believable 1950s Renovation

James Rippon James Rippon
The Gables Patalab Architecture
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The face of residential London is forever changing as the city grows and a high price is put on any available piece of real estate. With property at an all time high and a number of London garages recently fetching half a million pounds (yes, you heard right, garages!) it's no surprise this small industrial compound in north west London was quickly snapped up with the buyer's intention to completely overhaul and convert the rundown site.

Everything in London these days seems to be a converted space, from converted mews and warehouses to basements and even churches. What was once a mechanic's garage and office has now become a modern, open plan three bedroom house and two separate flats, all with a design that honours the site's industrial past.

Before: Dreary exterior

Before work began on the new development the site was in a sad and sorry state. Not only did the property need a complete overhaul to become what it is today, but it also lay in an awkward location, tucked between a Victorian terrace and a main railway line.

This landlocked site presented a huge challenge for the expert team at Patalab Architecture, who managed to embrace all the challenges thrown their way to create a stunning example of a modern conversion project.

After: Gleaming brickwork

Externally, the new residential lot was given a loving facelift that kept the essence of the original building. Brickwork is still the dominant feature of the external façade, which now glows in soft tones against the new indirect outdoor lighting.

The new bricks have been given a modern twist and are actually a reflective, metallic bronze glazed brick, which allows them to glisten in the sun as well as giving them the special radiance evident in this image.

Before: Sorry looking interior

Moving inside, the building from the 1950s was certainly showing its age; a cold, old and tired space, looking more like a squat than luxury inner city accommodation.

After: Industrial charm

And now it's an industrial style space dominated by concrete, timber and brick, only this time with a completely modern edge.

The brick walls have been left exposed, although now painted in fresh whitewash. Changes in the bond of the brickwork show evidence of the previous position of the ceilings and ground floor slabs, which were pushed up and lowered respectively to maximise the height of the ground floor. 

A concrete floor remains and has been polished in some parts and left unfinished in others, in a subtle nod to the building's previous life.

After: Downstairs bathed in light

As well as the living area, the ground floor of the main home also houses the dining area and kitchen, which is drowned in natural light thanks to the installation of the large opening in the ceiling.

If you look closely, from this angle you can see the design of the new lounge, which has been sunk into the ground to be flush with the floor.

After: The beauty of hardwoods

Oak is a lovely timber with a beautiful aesthetic and strength to match. The hardwood features prominently throughout the new design and has been chosen as the material for the new staircase up to the 3 bedrooms on the upper floor. The timber offers a natural element to the otherwise industrial interior and adds another textural element to the home. 

To see another lovely British renovation, check out: Throwback 70s House Gets Modern!

What did you think of this residential conversion?

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