Lydford Road

Artefact, London, 2020



Photography by Ivan Jones     Download Original

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This side and rear extension for a young family in Tottenham (London) marries their cultural backgrounds, inspired by Indian modernism and the elemental construction of mid-century architecture from the UK

The design opened up and expanded the ground floor to create a triptych of interconnected spaces: an atmospheric playroom cum study steps down into a light-filled kitchen/dining area, which opens onto an intimate garden ‘room’ with a south facing concrete bench. During lockdown, the flexible middle space served as workspace and exercise area by day, and library for reading and relaxation by night. The kitchen-dining area doubled as children’s playroom, with the large dining table creating a second workspace, with the distinctive Zoom backdrop of a dusty pink masonry wall.

The extension avoids the whitewashed walls typical of ‘contemporary’ extensions with pigmented sandstone blockwork inside and out echoing the red brick of the original Edwardian house. A house with no plasterboard, the construction of the new spaces is expressed through exposed steel and oak beams. A warm material palette runs through the house, with an unusual combination of clay plaster, oak, deep blue quarry tiles and pigmented blockwork. An intimate dining area is encircled by a blockwork bench, topped in recycled foam, that encloses a bespoke table made from recycled yoghurt pots and mild steel. A skylight overhead allows sunlight to filter through the oak beams, casting ever-changing shadow patterns onto the blockwork wall and soaking light deep into the plan.

The previously enclosed staircase has been opened up, with delicate oak balusters rising through the void to the upper floor. To achieve this, Building Control required a new opening between the two bedrooms. The response is a moment of childlike adventure and imagination, with a bright pink door in miniature, leading from the child’s room into the master bedroom.

Annual CO2 emissions data (requested in kg/m2/year) was provided as follows: Carbon neutral - All electricity comes from renewables and gas is offset.


  • Begun: Sep 2019
  • Completed: Feb 2020
  • Floor area: 83m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £110,000
  • Funding: private
  • Tender date: Jun 2019
  • Procurement: Traditional - JCT Building Contract for a Home Owner/Occupier
  • Address: Tottenham, London, N15, United Kingdom

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