Victorian home meets modern extension

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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Today on homify, we will be touring through a rather exciting extension to a Grade II listed Victorian villa in the London Borough of Islington. Completed by Jonathan Clark Architects, the brief was to add a single storey extension to the rear, front and side, lower the existing basement levels, and refurbish the remaining three floors. The site however, presented some issues. With less than three metres to work with, the side of the house which allowed for the extension was very narrow. The new side extension houses a utility, kitchen and garden room, which we are privileged to be able to tour through below.

Folding rear doors give the occupants access from the extension into the garden, creating a newly established relationship between nature and the built form. It also makes the space look and feel much larger than it actually is. So, without further ado, let's take a look!

The modern extension

From this angle, it is hard to imagine that a contemporary extension such as this would look so perfectly placed next to a Victorian style home. Credit goes to the architects who have successfully managed to execute such a feat. The strict geometry of the extension is not only visually pleasing, but functional, too. The cantilevered roof structure is supported on a slender 89mm steel column, making the house resemble the acclaimed Barcelona Pavilion by legendary architect Mies van der Rohe. It is possible here to see the shadow gap foundation that has been used as the base. This clever detail makes the extension seem as though it floats; an aspect we will look into further in the next image. 

The existing home vs. the new extension

From this view, we can see in full, the relationship between the existing home and the bold, new extension. Though one might think it impossible to fuse such vastly different elements together, this project goes to show that it is indeed possible—and to great effect! The colour scheme has been retained, with the external panes made mostly from glass. This allows the extension to seamlessly blend into both the existing home and surrounding garden space. Unobtrusive and elegant, the new kitchen area appears to gently float on the landscape. 

The kitchen

The modern kitchen is sunk in level ever so slightly from the existing building. As you can see, it is accessible via the short staircase to the rear of the image. Though natural light is able to penetrate the space via the large glass doors, an interesting set of recessed skylights have been installed directly above the cooktop. Sometimes overly modern spaces lack warmth and integrity, but the wonderful material finishes in conjunction with the ethereal glow from the skylights, creates a space that is inviting and homely despite its sleek, contemporary finish.

Kitchen storage details

Storage in the kitchen is of utmost importance, especially when it comes to retaining a modern and minimalistic feel. The overall ambience of the space is open and clutter free, so it is essential that all the bits and bobs that are accumulated in the kitchen over time, can be adequately stored away. The beautiful cabinetry, which is custom made for this home, complete with mirrored backs, help create an illusion of more space, and break up what would otherwise be a flat surface. It also means the occupants can show off their favourite pieces of crockery or porcelain. 

Technical drawing: Axonometric view

An axonometric, or exploded drawing, is a type of architectural drawing that shows a greater level of detail over the standard 2D elevations and plans we are 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 is possible to realise the relationship of the different levels and floors, as well as comprehend how they fit in together. Almost like building blocks, you can see how each fixed element of the home interacts with the others. In this case, we are able to see the relationship between the new extension and how it is joined to the existing property by a set of stairs.

To see another great marriage of a heritage home and modern extension, check out this ideabook: Clapham townhouse extension.

What do you think of the marriage of a bold modern extension with this grade II listed home? Let us know in the comments section below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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