Dalston, De Beauvoir CA, London,  2015



History and Context
The site is located at the northern extent of the De Beauvoir Town Conservation Area and is part of the original De Beauvoir Masterplan dating to the early 1800’s.  The property is one of a pair of unusual brick fronted infill buildings dating to 1907, positioned in the gaps between a north facing terrace of three double-fronted mid-Victorian villas.

Client’s vision
This project represents a real-life East London story reflecting the changing identity of the area and the contemporary aspirations of Hackney’s long-term residents. The client and owner of the property started out in a post-war council flat at the end of the road, studied at De Beauvoir Primary School a few hundred metres from the property and as a boy delivered papers to the house in which he now lives. He has lived in the area for some 60 years and is now looking to ensure that his home is suitably accessible and future proof for the years to come.

Our approach
The existing property is in essence relatively small, constructed as an add-on between the neighbouring houses. As well as preserving the existing street scape, we found that the project offered the opportunity to establish a role for this unusual building in the wider preservation of this important corner of East London.
Design began with analysing how to achieve the client’s vision – light-filled & spacious accommodation – by the smallest possible alterations.
Our conclusion: to utilise the existing rear alleyway space as a light-filled side extension to the existing kitchen and a glazed annexe to the first floor rear bedroom. This lightwell-like space increases the ingress of natural light into the internal accommodation. Further, the slight increase in floor area achieves a spacious interior with improved accessibility. In addition, this small lightweight extension creates a coherent relationship between the new interior and the external heritage. The existing volumes will be retained and new elements will be formally expressed to present a clarity between old and new. This proposal is conceived as complementing the surround¬ing architectural and natural environment.

ARTArchitects Ltd

Unit 37 Spectrum House 

32-34 Gordon House Road London NW5 1LP

020 7043 3041 /  info@artarchitects.co.uk

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