19 Jun 2024

A Modern Oasis in Newington Green, East London

A terraced home in Newington Green, East London, has been transformed with the addition of bold geometric rear and roof extensions clad in rich terracotta quarry tiles.

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Aden Grove is home to Mat, a Designer from Slovenia, and Tess, a Lawyer from New Zealand, who have chosen to start their family in London. The couple’s daughter was born just in time for the project to be completed, and the new spaces have already hosted visiting grandparents. Keen travellers, Mat and Tess wanted the house to be a showcase for their growing collection of art and ceramics – pieces made by family and friends as well as their favourite artists.

As the home was for a young family, the brief included creating more space for entertaining and relaxing, and reconfiguring the house so that it could comfortably accommodate guests for extended visits. 

Emil Eve’s design maximises available space by using the full width of the narrow property where possible – including the new kitchen and dining area, master bedroom and ensuite. Terracotta features as both a material and colour inside and out, combining warmth with modernity. 

The extensions are considered as a pair with unified cladding and glazing. All of the new rooms feature windows that stretch to the ceiling, and opportunities have been found to bring greenery and planting right up to the interior spaces. 

The ground-floor extension looks on to the garden, with a contemporary interpretation of a traditional bay window offering expansive lateral views enhanced by glass-to-glass corners and frameless glazing. A deep window seat captures sunlight throughout the day, with tall sliding windows bringing the outside in. 

The bright, new kitchen features custom units in solid European oak. Ample built-in storage includes a long wall bench with drawers underneath and a floor-to-ceiling double cabinet. The palette of natural wood with white walls and countertops is complemented by pops of green in the recessed shelving and door handles. 

A generous rooflight with oversized timber louvres runs almost the full depth of the space, pulling in natural light and casting a patterned shadow. 

The house’s two separate reception rooms have been joined together to make one large living space which is open to the kitchen – connecting the whole ground floor and creating views through the full length of the house. The living room’s walls and new joinery are painted in a deep terracotta to match the exterior tiles. 

As well as terracotta, the warm interior colour scheme includes whites, greens and yellow ochres – a calm backdrop to display the owner’s collections of art and objects amassed over years of travel. Oak features throughout; in the new stairs and floors, as well as hand-crafted joinery. Ceramic tiles bring additional texture to the kitchen and new bathrooms. 

Upstairs, the roof extension adds a full additional floor by converting the previous butterfly roof to a mansard, creating a new main bedroom with a secluded roof terrace. The ensuite wetroom includes a bath, shower and built-in tiled bench. Both rooms offer rooftop views through tall windows with planted balconies. 

The cladding on the two new volumes reads as a monolithic material, with the terracotta colouring extended through matching grout, glazing frames and gutters. The same tiles have also been used for built-in seating and raised planters in the garden. 

The scheme has been designed to prioritise natural lighting and ventilation. Sustainable features include the installation of an air-source heat pump (resulting in all electricity and heating coming from renewable sources), an intelligent heating system, improved sound and heat insulation throughout the house, permeable paving and a water butt and new high-performance, aluminium-framed, double-glazed windows.

FACT FILE:

Completion: March 2023
Architect: Emil Eve Architects
Project Architect:  Ross Perkin and Michael Morgan 
Structural Engineer: Price & Myers
Garden Design: Matjaz Cuk 
Joinery: Tactile Things and Primary Structures
Building Control: Quadrant
Aluminium Glazing: ID Systems
Terracotta Tiles:  Fired Earth 
Terrazzo Tiles: Diespeker
Worktop: Dekton 
Photography: © Taran Wilkhu

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