With a second child on the way, young professionals Corissa and Martin became increasingly concerned that the unusual layout of their two-story Victorian in East London would soon prove impractical. The cramped kitchen in the home’s rear lacked room for a dining area, and the space also felt disconnected from the front of the home due to a seven-step height difference between the two spaces.
Fortunately, the couple didn’t have to look far for help with their home extension. For weeks, Corissa and Martin had been observing the construction process on the house across the street from start to finish, and, impressed with the final result, reached out to the firm behind their neighbor’s renovation—Hackney-based architecture practice Yellow Cloud Studio.
The couple asked the architects to replace the rear part of the Victorian with a multipurpose kitchen and dining space with an improved connection to the front living area.
"That connection proved to be the biggest challenge of the project, as we dealt with a seven-step drop of levels between the living and kitchen areas while figuring ways of concealing a maze of plumbing pipes that surrounded the existing rear facade," explain the architecture practice, led by Eleni Soussoni and Romanos Tsomos.
The solution came in the shape of an elongated capsule window that visually links the front living room with the rear extension.
A large skylight cuts the arched window in half and continues through the entire space, flooding the interior with natural light. The skylight wraps around the facade and culminates in a picture window next to a custom daybed framing views of the rear garden.
In addition to a new daybed, the 485-square-foot extension features a dining area beneath the arched window, a spacious new kitchen with a bespoke terrazzo island, and an outdoor terrace. On the second floor above the kitchen is a guest room, study, and family bathroom.
"The kitchen, dining, and daybed areas are all given a separate, unforced presence inside the new space, taking into consideration their usability and the various functions of family life," note the architects.
Shop the Look
The architects further strengthened the indoor/outdoor connection in the light-filled extension by bringing elements of the minimalist, brutalist-inspired facade indoors—including pale bricks and gray polished plaster—that are combined with warm oak carpentry, sand-colored plaster, and brass accents. The natural muted tones are contrasted by the showstopping, black terrazzo kitchen island and free-standing cabinet by the dining area.
"The black volumes…intensify the experience of raw, handmade surfaces," explain the architects. "The result is a bright, spacious and unique addition to a traditional property that connects the space to its landscape and celebrates the craftsmanship of its materiality."
Builder/ General Contractor: H Quality Construction Ltd
Structural Engineer: Buzhala Associates
Interior Design: Yellow Cloud Studio
Cabinetry Design/ Installation: Stuart Indge
Polished Concrete: Fakktory Ltd
Natural Stone: Diespeker
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