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ConForm Transforms an Apartment in North London to Enhance Connection with Its Garden

Terzetto Apartment, London, UK / ConForm Architects

James Reteif

ConForm Architects has once again showcased its expertise with another stunning project in north London. This time, they have successfully extended and reconfigured a lower-ground flat in West Hampstead, located within a conservation area.

Terzetto Apartment, London, UK / ConForm Architects

Named Terzetto, this two-bedroom flat spans 97.7 square meters and is situated within a beautiful four-storey Victorian mansion block. Boasting the signature bay window overlooking the street, Terzetto also features its spacious garden at the back.

Terzetto Apartment, London, UK / ConForm Architects

Traditionally, flats of this nature have their kitchen and living spaces positioned at the front. However, ConForm director Ben Edgley identified an opportunity to enhance functionality and create better access to the garden.

Terzetto Apartment, London, UK / ConForm Architects

By rearranging the layout, he placed the main bedroom at the front while relocating the living space towards the rear. In addition to optimizing spatial flow, addressing the issue of limited natural light was crucial. The newly designed kitchen now showcases pale oak fittings complemented by a large trapezoidal skylight that floods the space with sunlight.

Terzetto Apartment, London, UK / ConForm Architects

Another challenge was overcoming “landlocked” conditions faced by one of the bedrooms without any windows. Through extensive iterations and careful consideration, ConForm Architects resolved this by cleverly lowering the height of the living space relative to other areas. This adjustment allowed for clerestory windows at eye level in the second bedroom as well as introducing a rooflight for added illumination.

Terzetto Apartment, London, UK / ConForm Architects

To maximize the available space, a significant portion of the corridor was eliminated. This, combined with the extension and revamped layout, allowed for the creation of a small additional room when the pocket door to the living area is closed.

Terzetto Apartment, London, UK / ConForm Architects

ConForm took inspiration from the decorative bay window and incorporated its three main elements: plinth, column, and pediment, each distinguished by different materials. In their interpretation, the plinth is represented by a concrete floor datum, while the columns are adorned with terrazzo cladding.

Terzetto Apartment, London, UK / ConForm Architects

The roof plane features textured clay plaster. In the extension area, there is a foundation of large concrete tiles that align with the original floor level so that you descend into the plinth as you move around. The green terrazzo columns are strategically angled to harmonize with the surrounding trees and garden, working in tandem with the overall geometric layout.

Terzetto Apartment, London, UK / ConForm Architects

Above these columns, the textured clay seamlessly connects to the red brick facade of the building. Described as a contemporary canted bay by ConForm, this extension was designed at an angle to minimize any visual impact on neighboring properties.

Terzetto Apartment, London, UK / ConForm Architects

As Edgley explains, “The rear facades of these houses lack character and interest. We aimed to introduce decoration and ornamentation while establishing a distinctive architectural style.”