Duncan Terrace

Niall McLaughlin Architects, Islington, London, 2013

 

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Refurbishment and extension of a Grade II-listed Georgian end of terrace house to frame a collection of contemporary art and ceramics

This is an end of terrace house with elegant windows on three sides and a beautiful front door opening off the side street. The relatively unusual arrangement means that the main staircase sits in the middle of the house at right angles to the grain of the terrace.

The architect has created a clear plan on each floor that allows you to walk around the staircase in a circuit of small chambers. There are two main rooms on each level. They have been twinned as a pair of offices in the basement, kitchen/dining room on the ground floor, drawing room/library on the first floor, master bedroom/bathroom/dressing room on the second floor and two guest rooms on the top level.

The garden of the property runs along Charlton Place and is separated from the street by a high, listed wall. On the far side, the wall drops by two levels to the lower garden. The architect has created a screen against this wall that encloses a narrow, tall passageway linking to a gallery at the end. The roof of the gallery is a parking space at street level. The screen is made from cast plaster blocks held in an array with light coming through the gaps between each block. A diaphanous glass sheet protects it.

The glass mutes direct sunlight as it comes through the blocks and the blocks appear as muffled white shapes behind the glass. The screen is intended to gather light from both sides and hold it on a single surface. An old doorway in the 18th-century wall has been glazed to reveal the two-storey back of the plaster screen.

The gallery and passageway contain three site-specific installations.

Data

  • Begun: 2001
  • Completed: 2013
  • Floor area: 302m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Procurement: JCT Intermediate Building Contract
  • Address: Islington, London, United Kingdom

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