robert dye architects

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SPENCER PLACE, LONDON N1

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INFO

This Mews house in a North London was cramped, dark and not suited to modern living requirements. The brief from our clients was to open up the house, connecting the warren of small rooms to bring light in and rationalise the functions and circulation of the entire house.

The introduction of a full height, central atrium space, with a glass, blackened steel and timber staircase reconnect, reanimated and reconnected the spaces within the house. The atrium is flanked by full height glazing and topped with an oval skylight, which in combination with the glazed treads and walkway on the staircase, allow light to cascade through the entire house.

Through use of materials, interconnecting spaces and double-height glazing, the house plays with transparencies and reflections. Skylights draw light deep into the house and provide views of the sky giving the house both a sense of both openness and protection. During the day reflections of the sky play on the glazed internal surfaces creating a shimmering mirage intersected with the solidity of the house. At night the reflections create an echo chamber for the internal finishes, giving the house a duality as it becomes more and less solid.

The house is reconnected to the local environment by providing views through the house to the streets and towering brick chimney to the rear of Islington Town hall and re-animating the rear façade. With the provision too of exercise space, an open kitchen-dining room and roof terrace the house has been re-envisioned for a contemporary mode of living.


Photography; Image 1 to 3, 5 to 7, 9 & 15 © JCT Photography;