This remodelling project created a vibrant family home in a 1960s terraced house in Dulwich
This end-of terrace house is one of 115 houses on a 1960s resident-managed ex-council estate and the third house to be extended by R2 STUDIO following a modular pattern.
The original design included an external storage enclosure in front of the house and a narrow entrance porch which at 1.9m ceiling height provided an unwelcoming and cramped entrance. The house was not insulated and given its exposed location at the end of the terrace it lost significant heat. Thick-framed UPVC windows did not let in much daylight.
The reconfigured new entrance provides space for a studio, a cloak room and utility area. The entrance is flooded with light through an oversized flush roof light. Visually, the ground floor is extended all the way to the front of the extension, yet the area is differentiated in colours and materials.
The external walls were repointed and insulated internally. New, slim-frame windows maximise daylight coming through the narrow clerestory windows.
Externally the design takes the datum of the existing concrete lintel and continues the material around the extension as a ribbon. All openings are full-height within the module of the original design, making it possible to integrate the larger extension without dominating the main house.
The kitchen is boldly coloured and forms the heart of the house. The existing chimney has been re-purposed as a pantry and plant space with an additional integrated book shelf. This achieved a maximum of storage volume while not making the living spaces smaller.
1960s houses are now 50 years old and become subject to conservation works. In this case the structural elements survived in good condition, yet the building needed an environmental performance upgrade as well as adaptations to modern living. Rather than fundamentally changing the layout, the approach has been one of small interventions with the aim to retain the original feel of modernism. The bold block colour scheme has been a key contributor to refreshing a tired white interior and to bring it into the 21st century. Natural daylight floods the house allowing the vibrant colours to sing and the more subtly nuanced blues to give relief and grounding to the colour scheme.
Photography: Andy Matthews (AM), Julia Hamson (JH), Frederik Rissom (rest)