London-based architects Robert Hirschfield Architects have announced the completed renovation and restoration of a large Arts and Crafts period home in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Now, the home benefits from extra space, as well as being intelligently and emotionally connected all the way through.
To encourage the family that owns the house to make better use of the under-utilised lower ground floor level, which opens out onto the rear garden, the architects created greater floor to ceiling heights. “To better enjoy this level, we excavated down to create more generous floor to ceiling heights, as well as introducing a double-height space in the dining area, up towards the ground floor, to allow for a better connection across the two levels,” said Director Robert Hirschfield.
A large, diagonal bay window was an original feature of the building that had previously looked down the centre of the garden, until a neighbouring house was built in close proximity. To fix that, the architects looked at restoring the window back to its glory days and the view from the ground floor is now far-reaching across the garden’s woodland and tree canopy.
“We restored the majesty of this architectural feature by pulling back the ground floor at this point, creating a double-height window. Those enjoying this feature at lower ground level are enveloped by the banquette, with a backdrop of greenery seen through the windows,” explained Hirschfield.
Robert Hirschfield Architects also wanted to encourage the use of the lower ground floor in order to create more space downstairs. Therefore, the kitchen and dining area have both been relocated into one open-plan space, which sits alongside the snug TV room located below the new study. Better connections are afforded between the floors through the use of internal glazed partitions.
The living room on the ground floor has also enlarged and panelled to create a dual feeling of period detailing and space. There are also painted timber shutters that can be closed off to give a sense of privacy. In keeping with the traditional Arts and Crafts style, the use of timber as a material lends a handcrafted quality throughout the project. The internal doors have also been remade as interpretations of the existing period panel doors.
There are three new staircases running through the home, all of which work independently from each other. “These were designed to create more leisurely movement around the house and encourage the user to pause at the end of one flight of steps before going on to the next one, a ‘staircase promenade’ if you will,” concludes Robert.
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