A Concrete Addition Caps a Photographer’s Georgian-Style Home in London

By Jen Woo / Published by Dwell

For the renovation and expansion of this listed house in East London, Archer + Braun draws inspiration from postwar Brutalism.

Stepney Green, an East London neighborhood peppered with historic buildings, provides the backdrop for the 1,100-square-foot, Georgian-style abode of fashion photographer Scott Trindle and his wife, Camilla. The couple wanted to update and expand the listed residence, which sits within the Albert Gardens Conservation Area, and create an open-plan kitchen and dining space. They tapped architects Archer + Braun for a renovation that would both modernize and respect the home’s Georgian characteristics.

The addition was created with custom concrete that matches the surrounding buildings, as well as the tones of the London stock brick. 

Photography David Barbour

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"In this part of East London, three-quarters of the original Georgian and Victorian buildings were bombed during the war," says Archer + Braun cofounder Stuart Archer. "Postwar from 1960s, there were a lot of new, concrete estates built. We took inspiration from some of the principal materials of this era, including Brutalism." 

A skylight over the dining table creates an inviting gathering space. Furniture was sourced from London's Two Columbia Road.

Photography David Barbour

Archer used large, bespoke, precast concrete panels to mimic the tones of the yellow London stock brick found in adjacent homes. The panels were then grit-blasted to expose yellow, orange, and brown aggregate. The home, named Béton Brit after the architectural surface Béton Brut, also features dark metal sliding doors that offset the rough finish.

Cambridge Architectural Precast created a custom concrete with aggregate in yellow, orange, and brown tones selected to match London stock brick.

Photography David Barbour

"In a nod to midcentury British architects taking the French Auguste Perret’s Béton Brut and adopting it as their own to create Brutalism, the client wanted to develop an aesthetic that is recognizably British," says Archer.

New, bespoke shelving was added to the ground floor of the house.

Photography David Barbour

Inside, the concrete floor was processed to expose the aggregate, mirroring the home’s exterior. The team also restored a number of Georgian design elements including the cornicing, skirting, fireplaces, flooring, stairs, and original wood panelling. Traditional decor manufactured in the United Kingdom permeates the space, including countertops that were hand-fabricated from old-growth Burmese teak flooring sourced from Plaistow Hospital, a local Victorian building.  

The spacious new kitchen flows with an open floor plan and neutral palette. IKEA cabinets were "hacked" with custom fronts.

Photography David Barbour

The kitchen features IKEA cabinets with bespoke, Shaker-style door fronts. To incorporate as much natural light as possible, the architects incorporated skylights and lots of glazing.

A bamboo pendant from Wonen Met Lef hangs over the kitchen island.  

Photography David Barbour

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The Georgian home’s original wood panelling was restored.

Photography David Barbour

In the bathroom, Archer + Braun implemented a Moroccan plaster technique and found an installer who specializes in "tadelakt," a waterproof plaster. "Tadelakt also has a nice tactile quality, is slightly textured, and just off-matte, so it reacts well to natural light," says Archer. 

The bathroom features tadelakt plaster and finishings from C.P. Hart.

Photography David Barbour

The entire renovation was approached with sustainability in mind, using locally sourced and upcycled materials. The architects pared down the design to its elemental forms to foster a fresh, yet timeless, aesthetic.  

Dark green vinyl flooring by Colour Flooring covers a bathroom floor.

Photography David Barbour

Related Reading: 

Before & After: A Brick Engine House Becomes an Airy Abode in England

An Architect Couple Create Their Ideal Family Home in London

Project Credits:

Architects: Archer + Braun / @archerandbraun

Contractor: Trendhomes 

Engineer: Harrison Shortt Structural Engineers 

Photographer: David Barbour

Reclamation: Lassco Ropewalk 

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