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House, Camberwell

David's current home, this house is one half of a Victorian Stuccoed villa, elegant in appearance from the street, but encountered in a very poor state of repair.  Suffering a familiar defect of the Victorian house it had almost no physical or visual connection to the large rear garden, which was bounded by ancillary spaces with small or no windows which were housed in crude lean to structures, the original bathroom only accessible through the garden!

One outstanding feature of the existing house, crucial to its successful redevelopment, was a neglected dark side alleyway which offered nothing as an external space but once incorporated by means of substantial structural alterations into the existing small rear room, and combined with a rear extension, allowed the creation of a huge 35 sqm combined living dining and kitchen space which re-orientates the whole house towards the quiet, private garden at the rear.

Large sliding hardwood windows and doors open onto the garden, making it an integrated element of the home, highly visible all year round, and an extension of the living space in the warmer months.  A timber deck and steps to the side follow the rectilinear geometry of the house and serve as an external dining area.  The remainder of the rear garden is landscaped with a more picturesque flavour,  a pathway leading past a rockery and pond near the house to a terraced lawn beyond.

The new rear room and other additions add nearly 30% to the floor area of the house - usually considered 'disproportionate' by planning authorities.  The proposed form and treatment of the new extension was thus of prime importance in securing planning permission.  The resulting building cuts into the upward sloping rear garden to reduce its perceived height, and the roof planted is with a flowering alpine plant to increase its appeal when viewed from neighbouring upstairs windows.


Photos by Paul D Cox