Mapledene Road house is situated in a conservation area in Hackney, London. The property had been stripped of virtually all its period features and had become run down and used as a “crack den” leaving it ripe for modernization. Refurbishment was conceived of as a landscape of interventions and new components by London-based Platform 5 Architects. The cellular ground floor was opened up and extended to the rear to allow the spaces to flow into each other and to the garden whilst the existing layout to the first floor was largely retained. Each room maintains an individual character giving a varied experience as you move through the house.
The kitchen and patio areas are unified by a power-floated concrete floor and London stock brick garden wall giving the internal space an external character. The existing flank wall has been removed and the kitchen is applied as a lining to the rough brickwork. A modern structural glass oriel window lined with cherry wood projects into the garden and juxtaposes with the Victorian bay that projects into the street. The expansive glass roof over the kitchen opens up the view to the sky; you can watch the planes fly over and the swifts catching flies.
Daylight is brought in from above to illuminate previously dark spaces, the walls, floors, roof, glazing and appliances have been upgraded to modern standards for insulation and efficiency. Overheating and glare in the kitchen is managed by shading from the surrounding buildings and trees, high thermal mass and the use of solar-control glass and blinds.
Photos: Courtesy of Platform 5 Architects
Walls of books fold around a wooden staircase in this renovation and extension to a north London home by Hackney studio Platform 5 Architects. Book Tower House is a typical late Victorian mid-terraced house in Hampstead, London. The original property contained some Arts and Crafts influenced decorative aspects, which the owners were keen to retain and highlight, while introducing contemporary interventions.
The main feature is a double height library space at the heart of the house, created by combining the original rear reception room and a first floor bedroom. The feature staircase, wrapped in oak bookshelves, leads up to a built-in desk and study area with views over the ground floor.
To the rear of the house, a side extension to the existing kitchen was formed by resting an oak rib and skin structure, externally clad in zinc, onto the brick party wall.
“We used exposed brickwork in the extension to link the room with the garden by continuing the garden wall into the interior, London stock brick is an essential part of the character of the city and it forms a beautiful backdrop to a domestic interior.”
A cozy seating area with slide-away corner glazing creates a space where you feel surrounded by the garden.
A kitchen island counter is made from exposed concrete, which the architects also used for the surface of the floor. “The robust finish sits comfortably with the muted tones and texture of the exposed brickwork and oak.”
Photos: Alan Williams
Meadowview house, designed by Platform 5 Architects, is situated on the edge of a ribbon development village in rural Bedfordshire, United Kingdom and is surrounded by mature trees, hedgerows and arable fields. The first floor, clad in sweet chestnut, overhangs a solid masonry and glass plinth; from across the fields, it looks like it is floating over the hedgerows. Internally, the living spaces are arranged to relate to different garden spaces and the wider landscape. The house incorporates sustainable technologies such as rainwater recycling, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and photovoltaics on the roof. The landscaping forms a transition between the domestic and agricultural environments.
The sweet chestnut clad box overhangs the ground floor so that from across the fields it looks like it is floating over the hedgerows. The deep recessed balcony acts like a lens hood, framing sunsets over the countryside.
A meandering route through the house creates a sequence of gradually more private internal and external spaces. The entrance hall offers visitors views straight through the house to the pavilion in the back garden whilst screening off the living areas. As you progress though the ground floor, the space expands into a double height living room that is overlooked by the first floor study. From the living room, you can gain access to the courtyard garden where more delicate plants can grow protected from the wind and cold.
To the rear of the house, swathes of long grasses and meadow flowers are animated by the breeze giving the terrace a wharf-like feel. An area of the garden is given over to food production in raised beds, providing all of the household’s fruit and veg over the summer months.
The concept of a hovering building is continued into the details of the ash tread stair that is cantilevered off the wall in the entrance hall.
The house is well insulated, fitted with photovoltaic panles and also incorporates mechanical ventilation with heat recovery to reduce heat losses whilst a rainwater harvesting tank supplies water to the WC’s and the garden irrigation system.
Photos: Courtesy of Platform 5 Architects