Victorian Queens Park house transformed by bold extension
Queens Park house gets thorough refresh spanning style, size and energy performance by Architecture for London
Look at this home in London’s Queens Park from the street, you probably wouldn’t guess anything had been altered; but step round the back, and the Victorian townhouse’s expansive architectural extension reveals itself. The project, led by young studio Architecture for London, directed by architect Ben Ridley, spans substantial home improvement work, including a rear addition, a loft conversion and full renovation of the interiors.
Located on a quiet street, populated by late Victorian red-brick terraces and semi-detached houses, the project came with a brief for a significant increase in size. The architects obliged, completely demolishing the rear elevation and roof in order to rebuild them to new specifications. The rest of the interior was stripped back to its bare bones, allowing for full reinvention in terms of both style and layout to suit the new plan and the owners’ needs. The build also allowed the architects to improve significantly the house’s thermal performance and airtightness (Ridley is certified by the Passivhaus Institute).
The result is a design that mixes contemporary elements with abstracted forms that hint to Victorian house outlines and volumes – maintaining a balance with the property’s architectural context. The significant, double-storey rear extension is clad in charred timber and pre-weathered larch on the upper level. Meanwhile, the ground floor, in both the old and new parts of the house, is wrapped in glazing that allows the beautiful, green garden to be visible from anywhere within the open-plan kitchen and dining space. The garden has been meticulously landscaped and features a stone terrace, a variety of plant species, and a barbecue point, to allow for use throughout the year.
Inside, darker, moodier and more heavily decorated living spaces in the ground floor’s older section contrast with lighter styling and cleaner lines in the new part of the building. Changes in floor material indicate different uses and ‘zones’, while the extension is also separated from the older area by a full-height oak sliding door. Upstairs, more minimalist spaces wrapped in wood and featuring, for example, frameless glass dormers, promote warmth and serenity. A games room and a secluded play space at the very top of the house provide a further option for retreat, fun and relaxation. §