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

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By Jen Woo
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. 

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

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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.

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

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.

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

"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.

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

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.

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

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.  

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

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The Georgian home’s original wood panelling was restored.

The Georgian home’s original wood panelling was restored.

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.

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

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.

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