The property is a Victorian mid-terrace 4 bedroom home in Upper Clapton.
The work had just commenced on site when the first lockdown following the outbreak of the Coronavirus was implemented. This put the client, contractor, and the rest of the design team in an uncertain position. We discussed the various options and implications at length, and primarily based on extensive excavations having already been carried out, and therefore the structure being in a somewhat vulnerable position, it was agreed to push on with the construction with caution. With a few delays to certain supply items along the way, all parties were able to work together to keep the build moving with a fair momentum and the work was completed without significant impact to the schedule.
In terms of the brief, the principal objective was to upgrade the existing cold and dark kitchen and reconnect this with the rest of the living accommodation, providing a new open-plan kitchen, informal dining area and raised library zone, with direct access to the formal dining area in the existing rear reception. The extended kitchen was designed to maximise the function and prominence of the kitchen as a practical, social and recreational hub of the home. The kitchen incorporates extensive storage, worktop space, high quality appliances, a window perch, great views to the garden - and quite intentionally no breakfast bar.
The raised library zone works within the footprint of the original conservatory (which was an original feature of many of the Victorian properties in this part of Clapton); this helps retain a reference to this key original feature, whilst also distinguishing this zone as a defined space with it's own specific character. The raised floor zone and contrasting floor finishes creates a mid zone between the kitchen and formal dining spaces, and proivdes a zone for some very large drawers for the storage of the owners camping equipment and luggage.
Double patio doors provide improved views and access to the garden, and a large-format double window is provided to the kitchen allowing expansive views to the garden, improved ventilation, and a service hatch for dining alfresco, whilst deliberately not forming another access point which would have compromised the autonomy of the kitchen. Additional daylight is brought into the deepest part of the plan with the use of a large-format flat rooflight.
The utility & laundry cupboard optimises the existing hall connection to the original kitchen, and is designed on a tapered angle to maintain access to the basement zone - specifically for a long ladder.
Our typical simple palette of materials and standard products are used throughout but also complemented with some additional bespoke elements, including kitchen fronts and shelving (by HØLTE), bespoke ply joinery & cabinetry, and an eclectic mix of light fittings & furniture. Another key feature was the use of hand-made glazed tiles to clad the exterior of the new side infill extension.
Building Control: Assent South East
Engineer: DEC Consulting Engineers Ltd
Contractor: Lakewood Build