Leighton Road

Manalo and White Architects, London, 2011


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Kitchen and garden 

Morgan O'Donovan (website)     Download Original

  • Kitchen and garden    
  • Rear elevation    
  • Rear extension housing shower room    
  • Ground floor    
  • New ground floor staircase    
  • View of kitchen looking towards garden    
  • Kitchen    
  • Second floor landing    
  • Master bedroom    
  • Master bedroom cabinetry    
  • Onsen room    
  • Reclaimed pre-weathered timber    
  • Room in the roof    
  • Cabinetry    
  • Front elevation    
  • Reclaimed timber flooring    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Plans    
  • Sections    
  • Rear elevation    
  • Existing ground floor plan    
  • Existing plans    

Remodelling and extension of a dilapidated, four-storey Victorian terraced house in Kentish Town

The remodelling and extension of a Victorian terraced house for two international fashion designers. One of the clients is Japanese and both have a strong interest in Japanese culture and aesthetics. The project was developed over a number of years through a discourse threading together ideas about architecture, clothing and fashion, and revolving around ideas of how a building might be dressed, distinctions between grain, pattern and texture and the shared desire for a consistent and legible ‘signature’ through a disparate set of elements.

The finished building balances a quiet approach to the original, characterful fabric of the original building with formally pared back additions. A new bathroom on the second floor is encased in a smooth black fibre cement that accentuates its platonic form. Inside is a Japanese ‘Onsen’ shower room lined with pre-weathered pitch pine used in its natural state. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors create an oculus-like view of tree tops whilst allowing those inside to remain hidden from view.

A damp, dark series of awkward spaces and niches at ground floor were extended and opened up to create a single, naturally-lit room around which family life revolves. The new staircase creates a conscious transition between the remodelled ground floor and the original spaces of the upper floors. Elsewhere a more nuanced dialogue is formed between new and original elements by the use of reclaimed materials, such as aged pine planks used to replace tired timber floorboards.


  • Begun: Aug 2009
  • Completed: Mar 2011
  • Floor area: 158m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £248,000
  • Tender date: May 2009
  • Procurement: Traditional, single stage tender process. Intermediate Building Contract (JCT 2005).
  • Address: 152 Leighton Road, Kentish Town , London, NW5 2RE, United Kingdom

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