Atelier Baulier has remodeled and extended the lower-ground floor flat of an early Victorian house in north-east London.
Having lived in this compact one-bedroom flat for several years, the clients appointed architect Aurore Baulier from east-London practice Atelier Baulier to increase the size of the kitchen and create a living space directly opening onto the garden. The brief also called for the entire refurbishment of the existing flat to optimize storage and circulation.
Located in the Canonbury East Conservation area, the project resulted in a 20-square-meter single-story extension spanning the full width of the rear elevation.
Atelier Baulier removed an existing shed and the entire rear facade at the lower ground floor level to combine the new and old areas. In order to give the owners extra breathing space, the existing floor level was lowered by 30cm and the garden was excavated to add a sunken patio continuing seamlessly from the living room.
While the existing services mostly remain in their former locations, the majority of partitions were taken down to consolidate the spaces and improve spatial flow. The floor plan is now articulated around a brass-clad storage volume into which the new staircase carves its way up to the bedroom at the upper level. The front room is connected to the open kitchen living-room space via a secondhand set of Crittal doors sourced on eBay and refurbished to suit.
Large sliding doors open onto the garden with a flush threshold between the two blurrings the line between the inside and the outside. Visual connections to the garden are provided from all rooms; Atelier Baulier scooped an aperture out of the stair enclosure to offer views of the garden from the hallway. A roof light slices through the extension increasing the ceiling height and providing views upwards to the sky.
Outside, Atelier Baulier deliberately blended new materials with the existing fabric. The new brickwork continues inside the extension for a seamless transition from the patio, which itself becomes an extension of the new living room on sunny days.
Inside, the materials were selected for their durability and ability to acquire a patina over time. The focus is on the natural brass-clad volume, which subtly reflects and distributes light deeper into the floor plate, its texture getting deeper and richer over time. A pale grey clay skim floor unifies all areas and is tonally matched by the clay pavers of the patio. Accents of white oiled plywood weave through the project, from the curved staircase to the bespoke high-back dining bench. The black Ikea kitchen, made from recycled plastic bottles, features Granby Rock worktops which use building rubble bound together to create a terrazzo-like material.