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Maximizing Light and Space: Unknown Works’ Oasis House Renovation

Oasis House, London, UK / Unknown Works

Architecture firm Unknown Works has transformed a terraced London house named Oasis by adding extensions to the side and rear. The goal was to create a more flexible interior and enhance natural light.

Oasis House, London, UK / Unknown Works

Theo Games Petrohilos, the co-founder of Unknown Works, had a vision to transform the Victorian home in Kentish Town into a modern haven. With a desire to create a versatile space for different activities, he embarked on a mission to update the house with a spacious open-plan living area.

Oasis House, London, UK / Unknown Works

The extensions now allow the house to occupy the full width of the site, with sliding glass doors opening onto the rear courtyard garden. This not only maximizes light and space but also improves the connection with the garden, where fig and bay trees have been preserved.

Oasis House, London, UK / Unknown Works

Petrohilos mentioned, “The previous spaces were dim and didn’t take advantage of the garden connection. The kitchen was cramped and the dining area was small, limiting the number of guests that could be accommodated. The living room focused on a large sofa and TV, which felt lacking. I decided to switch things up by introducing a spacious dining table in the main area.”

Oasis House, London, UK / Unknown Works

To the front of Oasis, the original bedroom and ensuite bathroom have been renovated with custom birch-plywood furniture. This includes a bed with built-in storage and movable floor-to-ceiling wardrobes that also serve as flexible partitions.

Oasis House, London, UK / Unknown Works

In the middle of the layout, Unknown Works has incorporated a small internal courtyard inspired by Japanese stone gardens to facilitate cross ventilation throughout the home and provide access to natural light for the redesigned bedroom.

Oasis House, London, UK / Unknown Works

The stainless steel and plywood kitchen is enhanced by concrete flooring that extends into the garden, aiming to create a sense of outdoor dining experience all year round. Custom timber joinery and furniture are prominent features in Oasis, such as a 16-seater stainless-steel dining table on wheels for maximum adaptability.

Oasis House, London, UK / Unknown Works

Petrohilos expressed, “I aim to accommodate various living possibilities within the space.” The kitchen’s flexibility allows the large stainless steel table to be rotated, positioned on either side of the room, or rolled out into the garden.

Oasis House, London, UK / Unknown Works

As the client for Oasis is the studio’s co-founder, the project served as an opportunity for Unknown Works to experiment with and implement new concepts. Petrohilos concluded, “This project is designed to optimize light, space, and a connection to nature – achieved through a materiality that reflects the process of construction.” Living in one of our own creations is a significant privilege for most architects, as it allows for continuous learning and growth after the design and construction phases are completed.

Image courtesy of Lorenzo Zandri