The project provides an enlarged family home in Lower Clapton that completely transforms an existing terraced house.
Address: 7 Atherden Road, London E5 0QP
Architect: Hugh Strange Architects
Contractor: Hanover Joinery
About the project
The clients' original brief had been to provide an additional bedroom and bathroom. However, structural investigations revealed significant damage caused by a nearby bomb during the Second World War, with the floor joists and roof trusses in particularly poor condition. This information led to a reconsideration of what could be retained, and the roof and roof structure, the upper floors, and the entire rear elevation was all subsequently demolished, with only the front elevation and the front two rooms of the ground floor retained.
From the street the completed house appears unchanged, its front elevation presenting a similar Edwardian façade to its neighbours. In contrast, the rear appears as a completely new building. The ground floor now provides bedrooms and bathrooms, and to the rear a small courtyard garden, enclosed by new brick walls. The existing staircase has been retained and leads up to a large room, which provides a combined living, kitchen and dining space.
The double-fronted character of the existing building, and the ability to open up to the new roof structure, allowed a scale to this space that is unusual in London terraced housing. Here the play between old and new is more richly articulated. The limited budget was embraced, and a clear construction strategy, prioritising robustness, employed whereby standard timber trusses and cheap plywood linings are used unaltered at high level for the roof construction.