Binary House

Space Group Architects, London, 2018


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in


    Download Original

  • 001_front_extension_copyrightpaulriddle    
  • 002_rear_elevation_copyrightpaulriddle    
  • 003_glazing_detail_copyrightpaulriddle    
  • 006_open_plan_space_brass_louvred_skylight_copyrightpaulriddle    
  • 007_bedroom_within_front_extension_copyrightpaulriddle    
  • 005_open_plan_space_copyrightpaulriddle    
  • 010_utility-bathroom_copyrightpaulriddle    
  • 004_brass_louvres_close-up    
  • 008_stairwell_copyrightpaulriddle    
  • 009_master_bedroom_copyrightpaulriddle    
  • 215_presentation_1f_plan    
  • 215_presentation_gf_plan    
  • 215_presentation_section    
  • 215_presentation_side_elevation    

This project lies within a stepped terrace of purpose built houses

The property is set back from the street and from the adjacent house. A new volume to the front occupies the corner where the two existing houses meet. On first sight it seems an extrusion of the existing building. However, a separating ‘glass ribbon’, a subtle difference in the surface quality of the colour matched brickwork and roof tiles and dynamically protruding bricks to the side elevation achieve a subtle distinction.

The glazed ribbon relocates the entrance door and provides a dramatic window and skylight to a bedroom on the first floor replacing a dysfunctional, small box room. The protruding bricks enable a wonderful play of shadows throughout the day making the new entrance route more exciting. Once you enter a new utility/bathroom occupies the extension on the ground floor whilst the first floor provides a fabulous panoramic view. The ground floor is ‘unlocked’ with the demolition of an old conservatory, a central and the rear wall and a new extension towards the garden.

The new rear elevation contains a central fixed glazed panel that is seemingly wrapping up and over to become a skylight. Here a special mirco-louvred brass mesh has been laminated into the glass as a means of solar gain control, enabling views whilst reflecting sunlight. The nature of this dense mesh creates very interesting halo effects when hit by light giving it an animated and yet very technological feel.

The interior has deliberate Scandinavian warmth to it thanks to an abundance of whites combined with soft tones of brown and a pale Ash wooden floor throughout. As homage to the louvred brass screen, brushed brass reappears in a number of details throughout.

Photography by Paul Riddle


  • Begun: Sep 2017
  • Completed: Apr 2018
  • Floor area: 105m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £220,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Jul 2017
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Work CDR 2011
  • Address: Finnis Street, London, E2, United Kingdom