Hidden secrets: Carpenter's workshop conversion home

James Rippon James Rippon
Old Workshop, Jack Woolley Jack Woolley Modern houses
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Today we want to show you something a little out of the ordinary. A home that unless pointed out, would completely pass you by. Its inconspicuous and unassuming exterior allows the home to fly under the radar; something seemingly impossible in a city of over 8 million. However, in an otherwise typical London street, hides this one of a kind home. Once a carpenter's workshop, the rundown space has been converted into a modern home with the help of architect Jack Woolley.


Old Workshop - south east elevation Jack Woolley Modern houses
Jack Woolley

Old Workshop—south east elevation

Jack Woolley

The original workshop sat behind this brick wall that links two 19th century terraces, which until the restoration began, was nothing more than a typical brick wall lining the footpath of a London street.

The once conventional wall has been pierced to create an indistinct front door that would be go completely unnoticed to most passers by. Hiding behind is a special conversion home that shows the diversity and originality of modern homes in one of the world's most intriguing cities.

Floor plan

Old Workshop - ground floor plan Jack Woolley
Jack Woolley

Old Workshop—ground floor plan

Jack Woolley

Sometimes it takes a glimpse of a floor plan to fully understand the dynamics of a home. This notion rings true for homes such as this that are not entirely viewable from the street. Here, we are offered a better understanding of how the occupants live. The front door cut out of the brickwork we can see at the bottom of the image, leads us down a staircase into the living space of the conversion.

Simple staircase

Old Workshop - stair Jack Woolley Modern corridor, hallway & stairs
Jack Woolley

Old Workshop—stair

Jack Woolley

The simple and light-filled staircase looks like it could be in a small contemporary art gallery, not the stairs to a basement home just a few feet off the street. What these stairs lead us to unlike anything you have ever seen before.

Simple modern interior

Old Workshop - living room Jack Woolley Rustic style living room
Jack Woolley

Old Workshop—living room

Jack Woolley

We have had the opportunity to show you some truly magical conversions here on homify, one such example being this home studio converted from an indoor pool in Southhampton. However, this particular project really stood out. A new basement level was built under the original workshop, but offset horizontally to allow daylight to enter the living spaces through structural walk-on skylights, which we will take a closer look at soon. A crisp and modern white dominates the interior, allowing the small and hidden spaces to feel more roomy, whilst an industrial style floor was used to honour the blue collar past of the original workshop.

Kitchen with reclaimed timber

Old Workshop - kitchen Jack Woolley Modern kitchen
Jack Woolley

Old Workshop—kitchen

Jack Woolley

Here we see the ultra-modern kitchen, where the designers have creatively and sustainably reused the sodden timbers from the original roof. Once dried out and cleaned up, the solid hardwood was given a new lease of life in the form of the kitchen cabinetry we see here. Other various materials from the derelict workshop were used to restore the building to become what it is today, and various changes made to increase thermal efficiency, air circulation, and access to natural light.

Walk-on skylights

Old Workshop - rooflight Jack Woolley Modern windows & doors
Jack Woolley

Old Workshop—rooflight

Jack Woolley

The walk-on skylights we mentioned earlier are one of the ways natural light is invited inside this wonderful home. Building them strong enough ensures light can still enter, without compromising space for the small outdoor terrace of the upper ground level of the conversion. 

Hopefully this unique home has proven that anything is possible when it comes to renovating, and has inspired you to tackle that project in your home you have always wanted to undertake.

Could you have ever expected a home such as this hiding behind that door!? Let us know your thoughts on the project below.

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