Herne Hill House

Type, London, 0



All photographs Lorenzo Zandri     Download Original

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Our client’s brief was to create a new light and spacious open plan living, cooking and dining area with a strong connection to the garden.

Our response was to use the clarity of the building components to define the spaces and to choose materials that express this function.

The design has three components: The first is an ash-lined box creating a threshold between the old and new while containing all the services. The second is the expressed concrete frame that defines the three distinct spaces. The third is a multifunctional inhabitable rear façade made from Douglas fir with three distinct sub-components; a picture window with seat for viewing, timber shutters for ventilation and a pivot door for access.

Key to the project is an elemental use of self-finished materials that are inherently beautiful and practical. The quarry tiles are durable, cheap, slip-resistant for the children and can go inside and outside. Concrete is strong, fire-resistant and easy to maintain. The lime plaster finish is natural in colour, provides thermal mass on hot days and is breathable. The Douglas fir was chosen for the rear façade shutters and pivot door for its durability and strength; with darker sapele for sills which are subjected to more weathering. Internally the joists and ceiling are Douglas fir too, chosen for strength and section size. Ash, used to complement the Douglas fir, is used for internal walls and furniture, chosen for its tighter and more controlled grain and its affordability.

Through the most ubiquitous of projects, a simple rear and side extension to a terraced house, TYPE demonstrates how even generic spaces are enriched


  • Floor area: 44m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £210,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Procurement: JCT minor works
  • Address: Herne Hill, London, SE24 0EB, United Kingdom

Professional Team