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Sanya Polescuk Architects

Sanya Polescuk Architects

North London Belsize Park NW3

Sanya Polescuk Architects - Recreating the Victorian Terrace

Sanya Polescuk Architects

Photographs by

Iana Marinescu






A four-storey Victorian terrace house in Primrose Hill delicately remodelled and refurbished. Bedrooms and bathrooms are on upper floors and generous bright interior of open plan living spaces on the lower floors.

Previously, the house had been sub-divided into 5no individual studio flats, and the brief was to restore it to a modern single family home. While retaining the original feature-staircase on the upper floors Sanya Polescuk Architects continued vertical circulation down to the lower ground floor by creating a new, sinuous flight of steps. Restoring the flow previously interrupted by the building's former compartmentalisation. The architects also added external flights of stairs to both the front and rear of the house to enable simultaneous connections to the private rear garden and public pavement.

The planning permission for this project was granted from Camden Council without any objections.

The retrofit and remodelling was staged in three phases and took five years and as many planning and listed building permissions. The first stage made the building weathertight and safe, including stabilising the rear timber and glass loggia. The second phase focused on gently reworking the plan and making the house liveable by refurbishing about two thirds of it. This included renewing all its infrastructure for new services, overhauling and fitting extra thin double glazing in the repaired sashes, and upgrading some external walls with thermal insulation.

The third, final stage of the redevelopment converted the original 'service areas' - the scullery, the pantry and the loft - into new bedrooms, bathrooms and a study (with the new subterranean cellar by Spiral Cellars). The process involved careful re-use, re-shape and re-location of the original doors, stairs and roof structure. Juxtaposing these old elements with the new, dual purpose book shelf and storage, the new spaces have opened up and daylight brought in into originally dark and unused areas of the building. In order to further future-proof the house, solar-thermal panels were installed, generating much of the hot water and so reducing the reliance on the fossil fuel.