Noel Isherwood

Case Study

New House In De Beauvoir Town

The Vision

Sally and Ian were reaching an important moment in their married life together. Ian had made the decision to make an early exit from the bank but Sally was still pursuing her career as a lawyer.

They lived in a four story twin villa type brick house in Hackney surrounded by similar properties in row after row of exquisite Georgian terraces. Should they stay or should they go? London had been good to them and Sally was still enjoying her job. Ian had taken to developing individual properties and was considering how they might develop the London pad.

The Challenge

After some consideration about how to extend the house, Ian realised that the land to the side of the house which was a trapezoid wedge shaped part of the garden, might be sufficient space to create an entirely new home in stead of an extension to the existing one. There wasn’t a lot of space to play with and the end wall would have to sit on the existing boundary with the neighbours drive.

At this point Sally and Ian contacted us to ask, if as architects, we could look at the possibility of creating a new home that could become their London pad, whilst in time, and with some refurbishment, they could sell the main house. The building was in a well established conservation area, so relationships with the conservation officer would be key.

The Design

We used our expertise and experience of working in conservations areas to sketch out some options as to how they might do this. We initially discussed the principle of the design and whether they would prefer a traditional ex-tension to something modern.

We looked around the neighbourhood and it became apparent that many of the more recent buildings that had chosen a contrasting design did not somehow live up to the quality of the neighbour-ing historic buildings and were something of a disappointment.

On balance and with Ian’s preference for traditional buildings, it was decided to follow a more in-keeping solution which would use a similar form and brickwork type to match the existing property. After discussions with the planners and feedback from the conservation officer, we were able to agree that a three story house with a one metre set back would be sufficiently deferential in relation to the existing house.

By adopting a design which relates directly to the context with a design that follows similar proportions to the neighbouring windows, we found favour with the client and the local authority. From Ian’s perspective, the project enabled a simple form of construction that kept the budget in check whilst resulting in a building of value with minimal maintenance.

The Finish Up

It has worked out well for Ian and Sally. They have refurbished in the mean-time two further properties, one in Devon which has become their new home and another in Cornwall for more recreational purposes. Sally left her London job when the project had been completed and after moving to Devon they sold the main London property and retained the new build house as their London base when visiting their London friends.

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