Overhill Road

Darren Oldfield Architects, London, 2017


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View from the living room window 

Guy Lockwood (website)     Download Original

  • View from the living room window    
  • New bright, airy family bathroom    
  • Luxury shower room    
  • Refurbished hallway with bespoke timber model train track    
  • Bespoke walnut joinery    
  • Bathing with a view    
  • Herringbone mosaic    
  • Detail of combined feature lighting and picture rail    
  • Exterior detail with earlier loft scheme above    
  • Planning Scheme    
  • View from living room before    
  • Existing family bathroom    
  • Existing redundant study    
  • Detail plan    
  • Detail Elevation    
  • Detail Elevation    
  • Detail Section    
  • Bath window detail plan    
  • Bath window detail section    
  • Shower window details    

Partial refurbishment of a late Victorian property, to provide a unique pair of bathrooms with a staggering view of the London skyline

In this project, completed in July 2017, clients Nick and Moira Taylor were keen to redeploy Darren Oldfield Architects to maximise every last angle of their Victorian terrace’s remarkable panoramic views. The property sits in a grand south London location, sharing the same view of the London skyline as Kate Macintosh's influential Dawson's Heights estate. This also carries its own challenges, in particular a weather-exposed north-facing rear elevation and the close proximity of overlooking neighbouring properties to either side.

Our brief was to provide mutually enhancing elements of playfulness and luxury to this family home, to compensate for the exposed position of the property by improving its energy efficiency, and to maximise light and openness to the skyline views while protecting the clients’ privacy. Tasked with re-configuring and refurbishing the rear portion of the house at first floor level, we stripped back the existing bedroom, bathroom and study to their interior shells. The rooms were then remodelled to provide a bedroom, family bathroom, and separate shower room.

A key part of the brief was to provide a unique bathing experience with skyline views. To facilitate this, we designed a small timber extension that peels out from the flank wall of the house. The geometry of the extension was carefully considered to preserve modesty for the clients and privacy for neighbours, without compromising the outstanding vista over the City. We installed a free-standing bath in front of a full height slot window, capturing the sweep of London below while at the same time preserving the modesty of its occupants. Elegant mottled herringbone tiling is combined with custom built polished dark wood fittings, creating a sense of spaciousness, calm and well-being. Adjacent to the family bathroom, we created a decadent shower room, again with its own floor-to-ceiling slot window. The subtle lighting scheme, contrasting dark interior decoration and glittering tile mosaic wall invoke the mood of a luxury spa. The two rooms create sumptuous conjoining bathing spaces, providing extravagance both within and without.

Externally, the extension was dressed in western red cedar, articulated into bays of cladding. This echoes the earlier rooftop project completed by the practice in 2015, providing complementary layers of addition to the property as a whole. The practice worked closely with AndWoodcraft to deliver intricate pieces of glazing, the cladding, and all bespoke interior fixtures and fittings. This included a one-off light fitting fabricated in walnut for the larger bathroom, which enhances soft light emanating from behind while blending impeccably into the other fittings. The rooms were internally dry lined and insulated, and the pitched roof was also upgraded, both of which help to combat excessive heat loss from what is a very exposed part of the house. The revised layout improved air circulation and the creation of bespoke nooks and shelving for houseplants and other decorations provided natural environment-enhancing qualities to the interior. The final delightful and quirky feature was the installation of a high-level model train set running between the two children’s bedrooms within the existing property, via a pair of tunnels through internal walls, and a laminated oak cantilevered bridge.


  • Begun: Apr 2017
  • Completed: Jul 2017
  • Floor area: 26m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £65,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Mar 2017
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • CO2 Emissions: -kg/m2/year
  • Address: 32 Overhill Road, East Dulwich, London, SE22 0PH, United Kingdom

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