Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

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Architects Gruff have reinvented a mid-century London house into a colourful home for a young family linked throughout by recurring joinery and vibrant interior palette.

Though originally a typical 1930s terrace house, with a loft conversion and outbuilding from 2006, the client was attracted to the obvious potential of the house and how it could be easily adapted to modern family living.

The client’s brief was to effectively rip-out the ground floor and replace the awkward room arrangements with an open plan ground floor for living, dining and cooking. Reconfiguring the rear elevation to provide continuation to the otherwise disconnected garden area, enhancing the link to a new home office space within the disused outbuilding. To the upper levels, the first floor would be used for the clients’ twins and the second floor loft conversion would accommodate a master bedroom with ensuite bathroom.

Neutral materials and colours were purposefully chosen throughout to form the fabric of the building, such as cork floor tiles, engineered timber floor boards and birch ply joinery, providing neutrality but warmth to the internal spaces.

Concrete floor tiles, zinc yellow kitchen door fronts and an anthracite grey staircase, emphasise key elements. This consistent palette links both different levels and different functions of the house, creating connecting ribbons and visual references.

A new storage staircase of painted timber was installed at ground level, with shadow gaps and recessed handrail. This language continues with existing guarding replaced using the same modern language. Where existing structure needed to remain, the junction of new to old was deliberately expressed through a series of shadow gaps and junctions. Each element was then sanded and painted to provide a universal finish.

A kitchen was newly installed within the rear extension, providing ample remaining space for living and dining. A floor-to-ceiling modular and adjustable birch ply storage wall and window seat is the main feature of this area, allowing the couple to display much loved books, photos and memorabilia, while also acting as a hub for home entertainment and relaxation. This feature is also repeated at the upper levels, with the same language and material being used for bespoke storage and seating to all bedrooms.

Built for the client’s twins, the children bedroom’s are a mirror of one another and allow each child their own personalised space. However, a ‘secret’ door within the adjoining wall gives the twins the choice to unify the first floor, creating one large play space.

To the rear of the property, new glazed pocket and bifold doors open up the ground level to a newly landscaped garden, with decked terraced seating, steps and planters. A concrete pathway extends from the front entrance, through the living, dining and kitchen areas and continues into the garden, forming a material ribbon down to the clients new home office, workshop and gadget station.

The home office has been adapted to read as a mirror of the main house, with large bifold doors opening up to the garden area. Although the main house, garden and home office exist as individual elements, by the use of repeated materials and neutral aesthetics they become visually linked, with the garden acting as the transitional outdoor area, and by way of a bi-product doubling up as a handy performance space.

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Modern home with Living Room. Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects Photo  of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

Modern home with Living Room and Medium Hardwood Floor. Once a humdrum 1930s terrace house, Bearstead Rise has been beautifully reimagined by London–based firm Gruff Architects into a vibrant, 1,500-square-foot abode. Photo 2 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

Once a humdrum 1930s terrace house, Bearstead Rise has been beautifully reimagined by London–based firm Gruff Architects into a vibrant, 1,500-square-foot abode.

Modern home with Living Room and Medium Hardwood Floor. During the top-down overhaul, the team created a floor-to-ceiling, modular, and adjustable birch-ply storage wall—perfect for displaying books, photos, and memorabilia. Photo 3 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

During the top-down overhaul, the team created a floor-to-ceiling, modular, and adjustable birch-ply storage wall—perfect for displaying books, photos, and memorabilia.

Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects Photo 4 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects modern home

Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

Modern home with Living Room, Sofa, Bench, Chair, and Medium Hardwood Floor. With a built-in window seat, the area is now a hub for entertainment and relaxation. Photo 5 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

With a built-in window seat, the area is now a hub for entertainment and relaxation.

Modern home with Bedroom. Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects Photo 6 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

Modern home with Bedroom. On the upper levels, the bedrooms feature bespoke storage and seating, using with the same language and material as the living area below. Photo 7 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

On the upper levels, the bedrooms feature bespoke storage and seating, using with the same language and material as the living area below.

Modern home with Bedroom. A glimpse into the bathroom connected to the bedroom. Photo 8 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

A glimpse into the bathroom connected to the bedroom.

Modern home with Bedroom. Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects Photo 9 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

Modern home with Bedroom. A closer look at one of the adjoining bedrooms. Photo 10 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

A closer look at one of the adjoining bedrooms.

Modern home with Bedroom. Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects Photo 11 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

Modern home with Bedroom. Built for the couple's twins, the children's bedrooms are a mirror of one another. While each child has their own personalized space, a “secret” door within the adjoining room gives the twins the choice to unify the floor into a giant play area. Photo 12 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

Built for the couple's twins, the children's bedrooms are a mirror of one another. While each child has their own personalized space, a “secret” door within the adjoining room gives the twins the choice to unify the floor into a giant play area.

Modern home with Medium Hardwood Floor. The main house, garden, and home office are all linked by the use of repeated materials and neutral aesthetics. Photo 13 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

The main house, garden, and home office are all linked by the use of repeated materials and neutral aesthetics.

A bright green, patterned wallpaper envelops the bathroom on the lower level. Photo 14 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects modern home

A bright green, patterned wallpaper envelops the bathroom on the lower level.

Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects Photo 15 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects modern home

Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

Modern home with Living Room. Where existing structure needed to remain, the architects deliberately expressed the union of old-to-new through a series of shadow gaps and junctions. Photo 16 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

Where existing structure needed to remain, the architects deliberately expressed the union of old-to-new through a series of shadow gaps and junctions.

Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects Photo 17 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects modern home

Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

Also featuring large bifold doors, the home office located in the back of the property has been revamped to read as a mirror of the main house. Photo 18 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects modern home

Also featuring large bifold doors, the home office located in the back of the property has been revamped to read as a mirror of the main house.

Expansive glazed pocket and bifold doors open the ground level to a newly landscaped garden area with terrace seating. Photo 19 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects modern home

Expansive glazed pocket and bifold doors open the ground level to a newly landscaped garden area with terrace seating.

Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects Photo 20 of Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects modern home

Bearstead Rise by Gruff Architects

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