In its former configuration, this 2-storey 1930s property was previously a typical terrace house, with a loft conversion and outbuilding added in 2006. Gruff Architects was commissioned to update the 141-square-meter London residence to suit the needs of a young modern family. The clients initial brief was effectively to rip out the ground floor, replacing the awkward room arrangements with an open-plan area for living, dining and cooking. The rear elevation was extended and opened up to the previously disconnected garden. Here, the Gruff Architects has also transformed a disused outbuilding into a modern tool shed for the client who works in the tech industry. The first floor of the house is now used as a space for the clients’ twins, while the second-floor loft conversion accommodates a master bedroom with en-suite bathroom.
Neutral materials and colours were purposefully chosen throughout to form the fabric of the building, such as cork floor tiles, engineered timber floor boards and birch ply joinery, providing neutrality but warmth to the internal spaces. Concrete floor tiles, zinc yellow kitchen door fronts and an anthracite grey staircase, are used to highlight key elements. This consistent palette links both different levels and different functions of the house, creating connecting ribbons and visual references. A painted timber staircase with shadow gaps and recessed handrail has also been inserted at ground level, along with built-in storage that’s concealed behind birch ply doors.
A modest but exuberant kitchen was installed within the rear extension, providing ample remaining space for living and dining. A floor-to-ceiling modular and adjustable birch plywood storage wall and window seat is the main feature of this area, allowing the couple to display much loved books, photos and memorabilia, whilst also acting as a hub for home entertainment and relaxation. This feature is also repeated at the upper levels, with the same language and material being used for bespoke storage and seating to all bedrooms.
To the rear of the property, new glazed pocket and bifold doors open up the ground level to a newly landscaped garden, with decked terraced seating, steps and planters. A linear concrete pathway extends from the front entrance, through the living, dining and kitchen areas and continues into the garden, forming a material ribbon down to the clients’ new home office, workshop and gadget station.