Thirsk Road

George and James Architects LLP, London, 2018


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Elyse Kennedy     Download Original

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Our clients were looking to make their house more suitable for family life with their two young sons.

By their own admission, they are not minimalists, nor did they intend to become so overnight; our design needed to act as a receptacle, rather than a mould, for the realities of everyday life. The infill extension mirrors the pitch of the existing kitchen: the angled rear wall nestling comfortably with the existing context; the glass roof animating the heightened space through the interplay of light and shade; the Majorelle blue wall softening the hard boundaries between house and garden.

The butterfly roof form (which brought about the house’s name), with its unassuming aluminium rainwater goods, sits comfortably alongside the established tree. The enlarged galley kitchen terminates with a projecting window seat which benefits from sunlight for most of the day, conveniently located for catnapping. The newly created space is unified by a dark-stained engineered oak floor, chosen to contrast with the otherwise white interior.

A services core – naturally lit via an internal window – acoustically separates the new kitchen diner from the existing living room, while providing valuable storage for the family’s belongings; the reduced dining space that facilities this making for a more effective use of the space, by housing the tall kitchen units and doubling-up as a gallery space. The art wall houses the adults’ permanent collection above the children’s more-temporary pieces; a similarly well-used notice board is positioned over the island unit, further populating the space with injections of colour.


  • Begun: Nov 2017
  • Completed: May 2018
  • Floor area: 96m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £70,000
  • Tender date: Feb 2016
  • Procurement: RIBA Domestic Building Contract 2014 (traditional procurement)
  • Address: London, United Kingdom