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House, Victoria Park

The brief was to create a photographer's studio on the top floor of a three storey Victorian terraced house, and to open up the ground floor to maximize natural light and create a fluid spatial arrangement.

The client's initial intention was to use the existing loft space for additional storage, accessed via a conventional stair.  This was developed into a solution whereby the loft space was opened up into the studio below with the storage zone accessed from the main space via a ladder.  This arrangement allowed new roof windows to bring more north light into the studio.

The house backs onto a small park, and this panoramic view can be most appreciated at the second floor.  The existing vertical sash window was replaced with a larger horizontal slender framed metal window to fully exploit this asset.  With the spine wall also removed, this view can be appreciated from

the whole second floor.  A sliding folding acoustic partition allows the space to be subdivided again when an additional room is required for guests.

At the ground floor the property suffered from a common defect of the terraced house - a poor relationship between the principal ground floor living spaces and the rear garden.  The chosen solution enclosed the existing narrow side return with a glazed roof, widening the kitchen into an informal family room with strong visual and physical links to the garden.  Internally extensive structural alterations removed existing load bearing walls almost in their entirety, with care taken to position new beams to avoid downstands so that no ceiling height was lost.

The new side extension was clad in cedar, with slender galvanised steel windows and copings to create a contrast between existing and new elements.  The cedar cladding continues into the rear garden to create an additional external 'room' for the summer months.

Photos by David Modell