Shadow House

Knott Architects, London, 2013


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in


    Download Original

  • Shadow House 4    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Section A-A    
  • Section D-D    
  • Extension plan detail    
  • Roof details    

Listed terraced house gets bigger and light-filled with an extension made of rubber

The crumbling rear extension that housed a cramped bathroom and it was so low one could not stand up in it has been demolished. The replacement extension is intentionally contemporary in its style and construction. As a mark of respect it does not compete with the aesthetic of the historic building. Rather it allows the two eras of the building to be separate, distinct, legible, entities.

A ‘shadow’ of the building has been constructed in matt black rubber in the back garden. This ‘shadow’ casts a further ‘shadow’ of dark state in the garden.

The austerity of the black exterior is contrasted with the playfulness of the interior where a rakish exposed ‘fishbone’ roof structure and integral lighting add colour and warmth.

The main house is, essentially, a two-up-two-down of modest proportions. The ground floor has been remodeled so as to provide open plan living space. An upstairs bedroom has been fitted out as a sumptuous bathroom. The stairwell has been given a lofty ceiling up to the pitched butterfly roof. The house is no bigger than previously – but it feels much larger, lighter and more practical.


  • Begun: Sep 2012
  • Completed: Mar 2013
  • Floor area: 73m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £102,000
  • Tender date: Aug 2012
  • Procurement: JCT MW 2011
  • Address: Kelly Street, London, NW1, United Kingdom

Professional Team