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Dominic McKenzie Architects, London, 2016

 

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Private residence within a Victorian house

This project for a music lover and a collector of 1960s design, occupies the top two floors of a large Victorian house in Highbury.

The existing flat was previously located only at second floor level. The flat’s entrance door was also at second floor level, accessed via a shared stair from the house’s main entrance. Above the flat, there was a large unused attic which incorporated a particularly unusual ‘turret’ – part of the street’s scenographic Victorian architecture.

The design unlocks the potential of the attic through the addition of a new glass staircase which connects the second floor to the renovated attic level. To allow this, the flat’s tenants had to purchase the rights to the final portion of shared stair between first and second floor - which now forms part of their private flat. The flat’s entrance is now located at first floor.

Above the new stair the original roof had to be substantially rebuilt to convert it from an existing hip end to the new gable – necessary to allow sufficient headroom to enter the attic via the new stair. Whilst the house is not listed, it is located in a Conservation Area and it was necessary to prove at appeal that changing this profile would not be detrimental to the wider Area.

The entire roof was also entirely stripped back and externally insulated to become ‘warm’ and allow the attic to be free of internal structural supports. To the rear of the house two new openable rooflights fill the space with natural light. The rooflight adjacent to the new bed space is extremely large – 4m x 1.9m and offers fantastic views to the north. The retained ‘turret’ is left open as a new wet room, the shower area separated by a single sheet of frameless glass.

Data

  • Completed: Jun 2016
  • Floor area: 128m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £150,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Address: Highbury, London, N5, United Kingdom

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