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Seamless Connection: A Beautifully Transformed 1960s House

Primrose Hill House, London, UK / Architecture for London

Architecture for London has recently completed a renovation project on a 1960s house in London, resulting in a stunning open-plan interior that seamlessly connects with the beautiful courtyard garden at the rear. Situated in the modernist estate of Primrose Hill, this house is one of two detached properties surrounded by charming painted brick courtyard houses and small terraces.

Primrose Hill House, London, UK / Architecture for London

The new owner approached Architecture for London with a vision of transforming the outdated interior into a modern layout that suits their lifestyle perfectly. The original house had a fragmented layout with numerous small rooms, which didn’t allow for a cohesive family living space. “The client desired a more open-plan design that would provide better views of the garden,” explained Ben Ridley, the director of the studio.

Primrose Hill House, London, UK / Architecture for London

To achieve this, the architects incorporated a large picture window in the kitchen and installed sliding wood-framed doors in the living area, enhancing the connection between the interior and the garden. Additionally, they created a smaller reception area on the ground floor, adjacent to the entrance hall, which can be separated from the kitchen and dining area using folding doors.

Primrose Hill House, London, UK / Architecture for London

A striking bespoke blackened-steel staircase leads to the first floor, where four bedrooms, including a main suite with a juliet balcony overlooking the garden, await. In order to achieve the desired spaces, all of the interior walls were demolished and rebuilt after a thorough cost and sustainability review.

Primrose Hill House, London, UK / Architecture for London

This approach not only provided the required layout but also allowed for the incorporation of energy-efficient features such as wall insulation and a heat recovery ventilation system (MVHR). To further enhance the transformation, the first-floor plate was replaced using steel beams and timber joists, enabling the demolition of the ground-floor walls and the opening up of the interior.

Primrose Hill House, London, UK / Architecture for London

The project also encompassed the incorporation of a rooftop extension constructed with a timber frame, which was covered in white-painted brick to harmonize with the rest of the house. The extension was strategically positioned to be mostly concealed from view. Within this extension, there exists a versatile mezzanine area designed for yoga and meditation, which can be accessed from the main bedroom suite.

Primrose Hill House, London, UK / Architecture for London

Architecture for London employed a restrained selection of natural materials throughout the entirety of the residence, aiming to establish a serene atmosphere and foster a connection with the garden. The internal walls were treated with breathable lime plaster, providing a neutral backdrop for the architect Christian Brailey’s furniture designs. Notably, the dining table was crafted from locally sourced London plane trees.

Primrose Hill House, London, UK / Architecture for London

Ridley explained, “We deliberately avoided using an abundance of colors to maintain a strong sense of coherence. The utilization of stone and timber introduces a captivating texture to the overall palette.” The selection of materials for defining spatial boundaries within the interior was influenced by an image of a Portuguese manor house, which showcased a tiled trompe l’oeil frieze surrounding a doorway.

Primrose Hill House, London, UK / Architecture for London

In the living room, stone floor tiles of varying shades were arranged to form a border, creating the illusion of an area rug that delineates the space for furniture placement. Ben Ridley established Architecture for London in 2009 after completing his studies at London’s Barlett School of Architecture. The studio’s primary objective is to design spaces that enhance the quality of people’s lives and work, with a particular emphasis on reducing operational emissions.

Primrose Hill House, London, UK / Architecture for London

The result is a beautifully updated 1960s house that seamlessly blends modern design with natural materials, creating a harmonious living space that perfectly suits the owner’s lifestyle.

Image courtesy of Christian Brailey