House Refurbishment - Highgate

At the end of 2013 the practice was commissioned to refurbish a large Victorian terraced house in
Highgate.


It was to be converted back from 9 bedsits to an exquisite family home, and was in a completely
dilapidated condition. The original brief was to strip the building to the shell and to start over from
scratch. However, on careful investigation it became clear that beneath the panelling, partitions and
box-outs of the bedsits , was an abundance of original period features.


As a result of these findings the project evolved to become a substantial work of renovation with all
main rooms and original period features being painstakingly restored. This involved the repair of
existing brick elevations, a new natural slate roof, reinstatement of timber sash windows, extensive
repairs of plaster ceiling mouldings, restoration of damaged marble fireplaces and stained-glass
panels, and the complete refurbishment of the winding Victorian staircase.


To complement the renovation work a series of functional, contemporary elements were
incorporated for the purpose of modern-living. This included an open plan kitchen with central
island and a new single-storey extension to provide a garden dining room. The implementation of
these elements has been carefully detailed to ensure that they fit sensitively into the existing
structures.


The extension takes the simple form of a lean-to, with gently curved roof and eave detail. The
volume is clad in zinc with a large central roof light, and it has glazed bi-folding doors which open
onto a patio.


Ground level spaces have also been designed to create views into and through the house. From the
entrance hall there are glimpses to the kitchen and garden beyond, and from the reception rooms
there are expansive views through the length of the house to the dining room.
The garden, which was a neglected piece of wasteland, has been completely refurbished and
enhanced. It is designed on three levels, with patio terrace, central lawn and raised play area at the
rear.


On the first and second floors, five bedrooms have been restored to the original spaces and three
contemporary-design bathrooms added. On the roof a small, discreet terrace has been introduced
giving panoramic views over London.