The lower-ground floor flat of an early Victorian house in North-East London has been remodeled and extended by Atelier Baulier. The practice was appointed by the clients to expand the kitchen and establish a living space that directly opens onto the garden, as they had been residing in this small one-bedroom flat for a number of years. Additionally, the clients requested a complete refurbishment of the existing flat to enhance storage and circulation.
Located in the Canonbury East Conservation area, the project resulted in a 20 square-meter single-story extension spanning the full width of the rear elevation. The integration of new and old areas was achieved by Atelier Baulier through the removal of an existing shed and the entire rear facade at the lower ground floor level. To provide the owners with additional space, the existing floor level was lowered by 30cm and the garden was excavated to create a sunken patio that seamlessly extends from the living room.
Whilst the existing services mostly remain in their former locations, the majority of partitions were taken down to consolidate the spaces and improve spatial flow. The floor plan is now articulated around a brass-clad storage volume into which the new staircase carves its way up to the bedroom at upper level. The front room is connected to the open kitchen living-room space via a secondhand set of Crittal doors sourced on eBay and refurbished to suit.
Large sliding doors open onto the garden with a flush threshold between the two blurring the line between inside and the outside. Visual connections to the garden are provided from all rooms; Atelier Baulier scooped an aperture out of the stair enclosure to offer views to the garden from the hallway. A rooflight slices through the extension increasing the ceiling height, providing views upwards to the sky.
Outside, Atelier Baulier deliberately blended new materials with the existing fabric. The new brickwork continues inside the extension for a seamless transition from the patio, which itself becomes an extension of the new living room on sunny days.
Inside, the materials were selected for their durability and ability to acquire a patina over time. The focus is on the natural brass-clad volume, which subtly reflects and distributes light deeper into the floor plate, its texture getting deeper and richer over time. A pale grey clay skim floor unifies all areas and is tonally matched by the clay pavers of the patio. Accents of white oiled plywood weave their way through the project, from the curved staircase to the bespoke high-back dining bench. The black Ikea kitchen, made from recycled plastic bottles, features Granby Rock worktops which uses building rubble bound together to create a terrazzo-like material.