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Bradley Van Der Straeten adds statement curved ceiling to London extension

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A large curved ceiling connects the existing kitchen to a new rooflight over a 10m² side extension

This home in Crouch End, north London features a new brick extension with a statement curved ceiling ramping up to a huge rooflight. Although complex looking, it was easy to achieve with the use of a steel plate inserted above the new steel beam, and gives the illusion of more space in an otherwise low floor-to-ceiling height.

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Externally, the extension is formed of recycled bricks, arranged in three different bond patterns. Inside, a palette of natural oak joinery, battening and timber flooring has been used throughout to keep the home light but warm.

Vertical timber battens provide continuity between inside and out, and are used to clad the garden walls and the inside of the kitchen.

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Architect’s view

The key feature of this project is the curve reaching from the existing kitchen ceiling up to the new glass side extension. We have not seen it used before in this context (running along the length of the extension) and it is one of those ideas that we just can’t believe we hadn’t thought of before, as we do a lot of kitchen extensions. Technically it was very simple to achieve and only required a steel plate to be inserted above the new steel beam, so that we could get the curve required. The effect it has is that it lightens the space – there was nothing we could do about the existing low ceiling height, but the curve takes away the edge, so to speak.

George Bradley, director, Bradley Van Der Straeten

85143 planofbefore

Existing ground floor plan

Client’s view

Like most people embarking on a side extension project, we wanted more space, more light and a more open plan ground floor, yet avoiding certain pitfalls. While we are advocates of sleek, modern design, we were cognisant of work that may not date kindly. We’d seen a number of other kitchens that, despite the added space, ended up cluttered, with large tables, islands with stools and sofas competing for space. We’d rented several houses before that looked great but simply didn’t function well due to oversights in the design.

Therefore, we wanted the new kitchen to be sympathetic to the rest of the house. Our taste leans to the Mid-Century aesthetic so the brief to the architect was of something elegant and timeless. We wanted to use as few materials as possible, with wood featuring significantly. The design of the kitchen evolved over time and was very much a team effort. BVDS welcomed our input without being hierarchical in our meetings.

The curve in the ceiling was BVDS’s idea – it’s different without being gimmicky. We were very keen on the wood so the architect came up with the idea of using wood battens for this, providing continuity by running them into the lounge. We came up with the concept of the bay/box and developed the idea of the garden shed running flush with the interior units, maintaining smooth, elegant lines.

85144 planofafter

Proposed ground floor plan

Project data

Start on site June 2018
Completion January 2019
Gross internal floor area 10m² (new extension), 160m² (total floor area)
Form of contract JCT Minor Works
Construction cost Undisclosed
Architect Bradley Van Der Straeten
Client Private
Structural engineer Blue Engineering
Approved building inspector Quadrant

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Industry Professional

    Please advise from where the pivot door was obtained. I'm trying to find one just like that but few people do them and the ones that do are charging a lot! Surely I can get one for less than 9000

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