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forresterarchitects - Harcombe


Save the London Roof. The London butterfly roof returns to non-conformist Stoke Newington, North London.

Photographs by

Adam Scott Images

A view of the new lounge space.

A view of the new lounge space. 

Details of the new roof shape.

Details of the new roof shape. 

A galley kitchen links the traditional dining room to the new lounge to the rear.

A galley kitchen links the traditional dining room to the new lounge to the rear. 

A view of the extension from the garden.

A view of the extension from the garden. 

The roof provides an enlivened architectural language to the rear garden of this mid-terraced house in North London. The 'butterfly' roof is expressed internally with exposed timber rafters and provides a dynamic architectural feature and natural warmth to the living room.

The original ceiling height was too low for a living room so it was necessary to excavate to create a more generous room volume. The new living floor level has been reduced to provide a ceiling height more in keeping with the rest of the house and has created a stepped relationship with kitchen and the garden beyond.

A new wood-burning stove provides a focal point to the living room with a library wall, which hangs from the timber rafters above to occupy one side of the living room. In the evening the lighting is subtle and discreetly located with indirect spotlights and avoids the need for pendant lights hanging in the room.

As part of the refurbishment works the entire ground floor has been reconfigured. The kitchen has moved from the back of the house and is relocated between the new living room and the dining room to provide an open plan link between rooms. The kitchen avoids high-level cupboards with two long counters providing an extensive work surfaces area to each side. The dining room has moved to the bay fronted room overlooking the street. The dining room retains many of the traditional decorative features expected of a Victorian terrace house. The colour scheme is however bolder and is complimented by the addition of a modern 1950's furniture and light fittings. The dining room is now perfectly orientated for breakfast with the sun rising from the East. To the West a large hexagonal glass window frames views of the small garden for the setting sun in the evening.

Word from the architect

"The London roof is fast disappearing! As people don?t move and improve their homes, converting the roof space no longer protects the distinct parapet roofline.

Keen to avoid the mundane lean-to extension, the new rear extension is a modern interpretation of the traditional London Roof form."