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House, Golders Hill

This is a semi detached property in the Arts and Crafts style, located within a quiet residential street close to Golders Hill Park.  The site slopes very markedly through the house, such that the ground floor is raised two metres above the rear garden level, with a low ceilinged cellar inserted beneath the ground floor accessed from the rear garden.

The existing house had a coherent front elevation but at the rear a series of ad hoc additions had resulted in a chaotic and spectacularly ugly appearance, with a very poor connection between the house and the garden. 

The design solution extends the cellar and converts it into a playroom accessing onto the garden and fully integrated into the main house by means of a new internal stair. The roof of this extension becomes a terrace, providing a new external space accessible from the principal floor of the house.   

The elevation is designed to unify the existing and new elements within a calmer, tiered composition.  A new glazed roof in the location of the existing ground floor conservatory is hidden behind a parapet lining through with the adjoining masonry wall.

Internally  spatial drama is provided by a double height lightwell, illuminated via the rooflight above with circulation routes wrapped around its perimeter.

The new elements employ similar materials to the existing building - white rendered walls and hardwood timber windows, all painted white.  The terrace balustrade is of structural glass to maximise views and a sense of openness.  Hardwood decking boards here and on the garden access stair and privacy screens provide some colour and texture.

Photos by David Modell