Architect Amos Goldreich had three clients to consider in this renovation: Graham, Steve, and the greenery they’d tended for decades.
Behind a Victorian mid-terrace house in the Stroud Green Conservation Area of Haringey, North London, Graham had spent almost three decades nurturing a lush garden oasis. The home itself, however, was far too small for him and his partner, Steve. So, they approached Amos Goldreich Architecture to expand and open up the interior, as well as create more of a connection with the carefully cultivated greenery.
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The solution was a rear extension that sits in harmony with the existing house and street. An enclosed winter garden creates an unexpected retreat at the heart of the home and allows the couple to be surrounded by their plants even in bad weather.
The winter garden also links the old and new parts of the house with the outdoors. From the outside, it appears as a pair of gray intersecting boxes topped with a plant-covered terrace.
"The design revolves around the garden Graham has lovingly labored over for decades," says architect Amos Goldreich. "In some ways we had three clients for the project—Graham, Steve, as well as their plants! The extensive use of glass allowed us to seamlessly bring the garden into the home."
"I’m a keen gardener, and my partner has always wanted to build his own house, so our rebuilding project had to merge the two," says Graham. "One of the biggest challenges in doing the extension was that we were potentially taking away some of the garden, which I have nurtured and grown for over 27 years. But as the concept of the design and the build progressed, we started to get really excited that we would have an internal garden as well."
The interior space has been reorganized to be far more functional and open. On entering the house, the rear garden is visible from the hallway. To the left is the living room, which leads to the winter garden and the kitchen.
The enclosed garden has a completely glazed roof, and more glazing on the rear elevation allows light and views to be drawn inside. An "up-and-over" window seat further enhances the connection between indoors and out. "Sitting in it allows you to be within the garden and watch the fish below in the outdoor pond," says Goldreich.
It was essential that Graham and Steve have peace of mind when holidaying or staying at their second home by the coast. To that end, the enclosed garden features automated skylights that regulate the temperature of the courtyard and an irrigation system.
A warm palette of oak timber, terrazzo, Crittal style glazing, and colorful tiling has been used to add warmth, liveliness, and texture to the spaces while still allowing them to feel clean and modern. The beams have been clad in oak to create a more organic appearance that complements the greenery found throughout the home, and oak cladding has also been used on the large bay window over the pond.
The warmth of the timber is echoed in the terrazzo-clad kitchen island, the muted green paintwork of the cabinetry, and the ochre floor tiles; glossy white wall tiles reflect the natural light that suffuses the home.
"We specified quality materials that would endure and stand the test of time," says Goldreich. "It’s worth spending money on parts of the home we touch and feel everyday—the tapware, light switches, door handles, benchtops. These are the little handshakes of the home that should feel sturdy, age gracefully, and all importantly, not feel flimsy or cheap. It’s very rewarding to see the impact this has on our clients’ lives—they are thrilled."
Builder: Sorin Passala
Structural Engineer: Constant
Interior Design: Amos Goldreich Architecture
Terrazzo in Kitchen: Inopera
Sliding Doors: 1st Folding Sliding Doors
Flooring: Checkalow Tiles
Photographer: Ollie Hammick
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