De Beauvoir House, London, United Kingdom
Scott Architects

The De Beauvoir House is a four-bedroom terraced dwelling in a Hackney conservation area. The family home has been sensitively refurbished and boldly extended as a sculptural form positioned to draw in light and to embrace its gardens.

Client Brief: It was important that the form of the remodelled house had a strong connection with outdoor spaces and whose functions allowed horizontal movement between naturally lit and well-proportioned family rooms.

Design Solution: The form of the new extension evolved from the language of the site: its gardens, its brickwork and its neighbouring buildings. The extent of the new volume was generated by considerations of daylight to neighbouring windows. By allowing curved walls, floors and inclined garden surfaces to overlap, the interiors could be expressed as a series of fluid surfaces and flowing spaces that dip, soar and weave through the home, leading one towards west-facing outdoor spaces that gently extend over the dining room as a green roof of sedum, grasses and wildflowers. Contemporary forms reveal and celebrate their compatibility with the character of the original Victorian house. Carefully positioned roof glazing allows vertical pools of natural light to wash over exposed brickwork and finely crafted joinery.

Materials: The new extension’s curved forms are clad in solid oak boarding that extends through to internal spaces, adding texture and visual warmth. A carefully selected palette of natural materials - limestone flooring, exposed brickwork walls and restored Baltic pine floorboards - are composed using a series of clean contemporary details while original period features have been reinstated using traditional methods.

The De Beauvoir House shows how a strong, well-considered design solution to specific conditions can result from a contemporary sculptural approach to enrich London's urban heritage, developing a strong dialogue between old and new and supporting new ideas about modern family living.

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