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Hamilton Terrace, London NW8

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Longlisted for the RIBA London Region Awards

Following decades of piecemeal additions and alterations, the house required substantial work to restore a coherent whole and open up the volume to feel spacious. Originally used for servants' quarters, the Lower Ground Floor was disconnected, despite having been used as family accommodation for many years. Our brief was to refurbish, modernise, rationalise bedrooms, re-connect the basement into the living space, re-establish the coherence in circulation, layout and materials as required for a modern single family home. At the rear, we agreed to focus view and openness, to reduce unnecessary level changes and to connect to a garden terrace.

As a Listed building within a Conservation Area, significant demolition and alteration was a challenge to justify but a comprehensive historical and urban analysis persuaded Westminster Planners that we should restore the order of the original proportions at the rear of the house, supported by coherent modern additions.

A simple full-width extension replaces a pair of 1990's conservatories to form a 'base' to the rear elevation. On this, a 'brown' roof spans the width of the house with sliding glass to a raised terrace and garden. Clerestory glazing lights the modern kitchen whilst revealing the historic fabric.

Inside an upper level structural-glass box, a new glass-plank gallery and open-tread stair connect the main living areas on two floors, maximising light into the family rooms beyond.

The client came to us with a requirement for sustainable measures where affordable. The scheme integrates sustainable and low energy technologies: Rainwater Harvesting; Solar Hot water; Mechanical Heat Recovery Ventilation; Air Source Heat Pump; Brown Roof re-using demolition material to manage peak rainwater run-off and sustain local bio-diversity; and the brick walls that embrace the kitchen and garden terrace are recycled stock from demolition.

Structural Engineer: Greig Ling