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nimtim architects

nimtim architects


nimtim architects - Pitch Perfect

nimtim architects

A playful addition to a 1960s house that uses natural light to create a magical kitchen for a food stylist and her young family.

Photographs by

Anna and Tam










nimtim were approached by a young family to assess the extension and reconfiguration of the existing ground floor layout of their postwar house in South East London. The house forms part of a terrace of identical houses close to Nunhead Cemetery. The clients were keen to have a contemporary addition that still related to the original structure. The existing layout had separate kitchen and living areas with a stepped garden that felt physically and visually separate from the property.

nimtim proposed a full width rear extension with a sunken living space stepping up to a raised kitchen and patio area to connect more naturally to the existing ground level. The change in level was used as an advantage, allowing soft demarcation of zones and a better visual connection between inside and outside. Practically it allowed for a new floor with underfloor heating to be included without any excavation works. The design also freed up the current kitchen to become a flexible space; potentially a kids snug/guest bedroom/home office. A new compact shower room and under stair utility storage completed the brief.

A bold zinc sawtooth roof sits above the extension, referencing the geometry of the original zig-zag roofline of the terrace. The new roof includes three south-west facing roof lights, flooding the space with light and creating dynamic shadows. Diagonal slats of Siberian Larch are used to clad the rear of the extension - a playful reference to the vertical cladding on the original house. This external wood is left untreated to weather to a silvery grey, creating greater cohesion with the continuous concrete flooring from kitchen/dining to patio. Dark grey sliding doors and a generous picture window frame the new raised flower bed and garden patio.

The clients wanted a neutral, natural palette throughout in order to compliment the existing colours of their furniture, belongings and art. The Siberian Larch continues from the the internal exposed roof structure to form piers, giving a rhythm and aesthetic to the exposed structure.

Birch plywood is used extensively as internal paneling, bespoke joinery and kitchen cabinetry. The plywood grain creates visual interest and adds a warm glow to the interior. The use of timber externally and internally creates an extension that is both fun and contemporary while the natural effect of weathering will respond to the passing of time. The floor is poured concrete and meets the internal exposed light grey blockwork rear elevation wall. White formica faced plywood is used for the kitchen and island worktop and handmade monochromatic Bert and May tiles form the kitchen splash back.

Word from the client

"We knew that resolving the layout of our house was a problem which could be solved but we had never been able to solve it ourselves. nimtim's final design for an extension and remodelling of the ground floor surpassed our expectations of what could be achieved; they had met the brief with considered solutions to our numerous requirements, resolved difficult space planning issues and reflected a personality back into our home."