Highbury New Park

Appleton Weiner, London, 2018


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Lyndon Douglas     Download Original

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Our Highbury New Park project addresses the shortcomings of the basement level of a grade II-listed end-of-terrace Victorian house in Islington.

The original configuration lacked easy access to outside spaces and provision of natural light. It was also highly compartmentalised and at odds with the way the family wanted to use the space.

With the help of a discrete side addition barely rising above the existing ground level, we were able to address these issues within the constraints poised by a listed building. Adding 12 sq.m of living space and storage, the new side addition extends under the driveway in a way similar to how other Victorian houses appropriate space under pavements and roads to provide coal vaults.

Despite its apparently diminutive height, a sliding roof light to the extension, glazed to both horizontal and vertical planes, not only provides the much-needed additional light but also a tangible sense of the outside when retracted.

Original vault space has become a climate controlled walk-in wine room. A bespoke table and window seat make good use of an awkward bay window with the latter incorporating 900mm long storage drawers.

Located at kitchen finished floor level, nestling between external steps and the basement enclosure is a specially designed barbecue that allows ‘al fresco’ cooking throughout the year. In keeping with the stealth-like external appearance, the pallet of materials to the outside surfaces is limited to minimise the visual impact on the host structure, allowing the extension to become part of the landscaping.

The result is a functional form that delivers considerably more to the project than its diminutive size would suggest and the host structure remains dominant in all its Flemish bond and gauged brick splendour.


  • Begun: Jun 2017
  • Completed: Mar 2018
  • Floor area: 266m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £243,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: May 2017
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works Building Contract 2016 with contractor's design
  • Address: London, N5, United Kingdom

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