Project: Tile House
Architects: Proctor & Shaw
Engineering: Constant SD
Contractor: Lucas Construction Design and Build
Building control: Quadrant Building Control
Location: London Borough of Lambeth
Status: Completed 2019
Photography: Megan Taylor
Text by Proctor & Shaw
Surface Design Awards, 2020 – Finalist
Don’t Move, Improve! 2020 – Longlisted
A rich material palette of tiles (3D and 2D), concrete, timber and earthy colours create a textured, light-filled, modern architecture that re-orientates the home towards the garden.
Tile house is a contemporary rear extension and refurbishment project to a 1930s home in South London. Two 3D brick decorative tiles, one ‘silk’ finished for outside and ‘rough’ finished for the interior, form the principal elements in a subtly complex display of pattern and ornamentation. The feature tiles were set out in an alternating stack bonded motif to create a beautiful rhythmic elevation of shadow and texture.
An innovative glue-laminated spruce plywood construction was designed for the roof. This removed the need for heavyweight steel work, brings warmth and interest to the interior space, but most importantly tests a more sustainable and environmental approach to small scale domestic construction projects. An L-shaped custom roof light, with glass to glass corner, is positioned so that the articulated roof structure ‘floats’ off the walls, permeating daylight deep in to the plan.
The distinctive 3D tiles are used internally to the back of the island. The brick tile format is identical to the exterior wall tiles except internally a ‘rough’ finish was chosen, softening the texture. A rectangular porcelain floor tile by Mosa, with underfloor heating, is laid out in a stack bonded design to echo the linearity of the laminated timber construction above.
The semi-detached home has a pleasantly secluded rear garden with an Easterly aspect. The brief required an open-plan kitchen and dining space opening on to a new outdoor terrace. Within the existing footprint a new snug space, focused around an existing hearth, was created. This provides a second living space offering flexibility for a family of four (with teenage sons) to engage in different social activities throughout the day.
The Tile House project included the demolition of a previously poorly executed rear extension. Within the original footprint new structural works were avoided. The two retained cellular rooms (new snug and utility room) were detailed with materiality and joinery in order to ensure free-flowing circulation and openness. The utility room can be closed away behind folding screens to de-clutter the space and allows views through the house to the garden from the front door.
A salmon pink painted timber joinery ‘island’, shared between the utility and snug spaces, forms the heart of the plan. On the living side it holds the sofa and forms a robust decorative length of wall panelling. On the utility side it houses concealed cabinetry and an oak lined coffee station providing all important storage. Light fixtures are colour matched to the painted timber cladding.
The custom kitchen and utility space, designed by Proctor & Shaw, are formed from predominantly white shop-sprayed cabinetry with oak accents to bespoke handle details and oak veneer to wall and island units. Polished concrete counter tops and backsplash are the by the same manufacturer as the 3D tiles with the matching ‘silk’ finish. Integrated lighting highlights the materiality and linearity of the structure.
Although modest in footprint the articulate design robustly delivers a transformative project for the client family. The extension is only 4.5m in depth but offers additional living space, a WC, crafted storage and utility spaces, together with a spectacular kitchen and dining area.