Site before construction on former garage:   by Satish Jassal Architects

Converting a Garage into a Home

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini
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Here at homify we love seeing astounding architectural feats that defy space or form. In this instance, we are privileged to complete a tour through a modern home in Haringey, London, which has been built upon the site of an old garage.

Given that space is at a premium in inner city suburbs, the ingenuity of architecture firms is being used to its full potential to translate and find purpose for plots of land that are anything but ordinary. Satish Jassal Architects are responsible for this remarkable transformation, and it comes as no surprise that 'The Haringey Brick House' was shortlisted for the 2015 RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) London regional awards for architecture. 

Join us for a closer look at this remarkable project…

Before: What once was

The house is located at the end of a road filled with Victorian semi-detached houses. Those familiar with Victorian architecture, especially those homes built in densely populated suburbs, know that Victorian houses were generally built as terraces or detached/semi-detached houses.

The exterior envelope of these homes could be characterised by brick or local stone, with the roofing material being predominantly slate. The challenge faced by the architects was to not only retain the clearly Victorian streetscape, but to also build upon an unusual site… a garage!

After: New beginnings

Wow, what a transformation! As you can see, the home design, despite its modern appearance, has a dialogue with the neighbouring properties.

The use of bricks, elongated windows and limited double-storey height, translate the neighbouring buildings into a modern version of themselves. The timber panelling on the exterior, as you will soon see, helps to connect the outside and inside spaces together.

After: At a glance

From this angle you can understand how the home fits into the streetscape.

At the same height of the existing homes, yet dropped due to the flat roof structure, the new contemporary build does not overtake or overshadow the other homes in any way. Quite the contrary actually, as it blends in wonderfully.

Technical drawing: Axonometric

An axonometric or exploded drawing, is a type of architectural drawing that shows a greater level of details over the standard 2D elevations and plans we are so used to seeing. It is a parallel projection, most commonly drawn on a 120 degree angle, which renders the exploded effect.

From this view, it's possible to realise the relationship of the different levels, as well as comprehend how they fit together. Almost like building blocks, you can see how each fixed element of the home interacts with the other floors.

In this case, you can see exactly where the bedroom is in relation to the kitchen, and so forth. This will help you better understand the internal layout of the building we're about to tour through.

After: A warm welcome

The combination of brick, wood and glass is a wonderful canvas for a welcoming entryway. As you can see, the privacy of the occupants is still maintained, with the slithers of glazing at the front only revealing a small piece of the internal puzzle.

A reoccurring element in this section of the home are the timber bay window seats, which can be used by both guests and occupants for a wide range of purposes. 

After: Kitchen capers

The timber elements seen in the entrance are translated also into the kitchen. The fluidity of the wood appears to have no start and finish, flowing endlessly through the space. 

To ensure best use of the ground floor space, the kitchen bench and cabinet has been positioned against the wall, with the workbench jutting out to create a very fine partition between the two zones. This is clever, well-planned design at its very best.

After: Level up

To transition between the various floors, this stunning staircase with sculptural quality has been employed. A mixture of steel, render and timber, the visual elements of the other spaces have also been translated into this area. 

The halo effect caused by the light from above creates a certain curiosity, beckoning us to go further. 

After: Light-filled

This stunning photograph, taken from the ground looking up towards the skylight at the top of the stairs, is full of wonderful angles and geometry. 

This terrific design consideration helps to bathe a space that is ordinarily in darkness,  thus allowing it to feel light-filled and airy.

After: Neutral toned

Nowadays it's commonplace to see wooden elements used in the bathroom, a space that was once dominated by tiles and ceramic. This goes to show the versatility of timber and, especially so in this case, how wonderfully it works as a highlighting element in an expanse of white. 

The bathroom, as with the other spaces, promotes the same light-filled and serene ambience. Lacking partitions or harsh dividing elements, the natural source of illumination that floods in from the window ensures that even the most hidden corners are lit up. This is further promoted by the large, frameless mirror, which blends seamlessly into the background.

After: Sweet dreams

Despite its size, this bedroom area feels breezy and spacious. Two large panels of window open up the space to the outdoors, inviting the occupants to enjoy time on the front balcony. 

You can just imagine once furnished, how modern and sleek this space would look!

To see another impressive home renovation, check out: Shabby Semi Becomes Something Else!

Do you think the home suits its historic surroundings?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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