Leaning Yucca House

DF_DC architects, London, 2018


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The Leaning Yucca House is an elegant extension and reinvention of a Victorian semi-detached home in north-west London.

Having been previously broken up into flats, the current occupants, a young family, wanted the internal spaces reimagined as one living area with greater connection to the garden.

DF_DC’s approach was to extend the house to the rear and strip out the outdated layers and finishes that had accumulated over time. This allowed them to integrate the ground floor kitchen and dining rooms into a single, open space for them to grow into and use as they please.

The distinct materials of Leaning Yucca House were kept to a choice of two complementary wood interventions. A continuous joinery element in oak incorporating the kitchen, storage and staircase creates a unified design and visual coherence to one side. While the rear extension and side passage are clad in red cedar – quietly discernible from the aged brown brick façade – marking each window with a projecting hardwood fin.

The material palette is completed by light concrete floors, a black steel frame and whitewashed brick around chimney breasts. A stronger connection to the garden was established through the installation of two sets of French doors. These open out to the lavish garden, planted by a former landscaper at Kew Gardens, which includes exotic species referenced by the fenestration arrangement. A large square window to the northeast brings the garden into the kitchen at an unexpectedly high level, magnifying the seasonal change and framing a leaning yucca and a Japanese maple in the background.


  • Begun: Nov 2017
  • Completed: Dec 2018
  • Floor area: 102m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £130,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Jun 2017
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • Address: 27a Cantelowes Rd, London, NW1 9RX, United Kingdom