The homeowner of Brook Green House, who’s in the medical field, was newly in possession of his childhood home—only now with his partner and young children in tow. The original house, a narrow Victorian mid-terrace built in the 1860s in the eponymous neighborhood of Brook Green, London, had four floors, including a dark basement kitchen that provided the only door to the backyard.
Before: The Front
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After: The Front
Two problems created a lack of light in the main living areas of the home: the narrow and deep floor plan, as well as an existing glass-roofed rear extension, which was the only space that really got to enjoy the sun.
Before: Kitchen and Rear Extension
Architecture for London responded with a plan that reconfigures the rear of the house, punching through the first floor to connect it to the basement with a double-height kitchen and dining room. Granted, this meant losing a reception room at the rear of the first floor in order to make way for the dramatic vertical space. "The rear reception rooms of most houses are the least used," says lead architect Amrit Marway. "After completion, the client never really felt that they were missing a room."
After: Kitchen and Dining
Now, tall walls of glass on the rear facade stretch 4.8 meters high ( nearly 16 feet), bringing copious light to two floors. A streamlined material palette, including soap-washed Douglas fir, polished concrete, and natural stone unify the newly renovated spaces into a calming whole.
The soap-washed Douglas fir warms the cool industrial concrete, while "brass highlights add small glints of light, and marble thresholds between rooms add a luxury feel to what would otherwise have been a very pared-back palette," says Marway.
The firm ensured that the brass accents were continuous throughout, including an elegant tension rod that suspends the first floor over the lower level. "This was originally a steel finish, and we sourced a foundry near Birmingham who were able to refinish it in polished brass," says Marway.
After: Children's Bedroom
More Before & After:
Builder: Boroak Construction Limited
Structural Engineer: CAR Ltd
Cabinetry Design: Grovecourt Limited
Art: Kaija Bulbrook