Schizophrenic Gesamtkunstwerk

Space Group Architects, London, 2017


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Facade detail 

Paul Riddle (website)     Download Original

  • Facade detail    
  • Rear and side extension    
  • Rear extension at night    
  • The building at night    
  • The new study at night     
  • The new living space    
  • View form the kitchen    
  • Kitchen detail    
  • The new study    
  • Master bedroom with bath    
  • Discrete access to ensuite bathroom & bespoke mural    
  • Bathroom 1    
  • Bathroom 2    
  • GF plan    
  • Rear Elevation    
  • Side Elevation    
  • Bathroom detail elevation    
  • Glazing details to study    
  • Step details    

Refurbishment and extension of an Edwardian house in a conservation area

As the name suggests this project has a split personality: There is the original Edwardian part which sits in stark contrast with the contemporary volume at the back. There are the historical, slightly romantic rooms in the old house counterbalanced by the contemporary, minimal but warm box at the back.

Historically correct ornamental plasterwork has been reinstated and given a twist by painting the entire rooms in the same, sometimes bold colour. An ensuite bathroom is accessed via a discrete, aged mirror sliding door which is seemingly blending into the ornamental plasterwork of the wall. The same bedroom features a mural of King Edward VII.

A renewed study doubles as a guest bedroom and a library where one can retreat from the rest of the family. The space is split into two halves: a ‘cave’ clad in soothing warm bark, walls of books, finished with a leather floor and the new, fully glazed side looking out onto a stone garden.

The existing extension has gone through similarly drastic changes: internal and external walls have been removed creating a large open floor plate with generous triple glazed openings. Four large skylights add extra daylight and head height to the space. The remaining external walls have been wrapped in thermal insulation and are finished in a polished, cementitious render system. The finish is softened by colour matched planters with hardy Mexican grasses flourishing along the primary roof edge and a black stone-pebble pier which seemingly continues internally but also reappears in the shower areas.

The light flooded interior is finished with a grey stained wooden floor, a gloss black kitchen ‘slab’ and a rustic air-dried oak kitchen island. The latter is not only a homage to the Austrian mountain heritage of one of the clients but also ‘softens’ the space.


  • Completed: Oct 2017
  • Floor area: 95m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £180,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Address: 43 Park Road, London, E12 5HG, United Kingdom

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