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First look: WG+P Architects remodels Victorian terrace

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Challenging spaces within a south-west London terrace house have been reworked into a bright and contemporary home

The challenges for Wiseton Road were typical to many London Victorian terrace houses: disparate internal floor levels, poor connectivity to the rear garden, low floor-to-ceiling heights within a former closet wing back extension and poor natural light.

Waind Gohill + Potter Architects’ reworking of these awkward spaces sought to introduce natural materials and light, and a significant design feature is the extensive use of timber throughout the balustrading, floor, stair, cladding and soffit finishes.

The original back extension at ground floor and existing closet wing was replaced with a lightweight timber construction intended to be unapologetically modern yet sympathetic in form and rhythm to the neighbouring terraces. The ground floor kitchen-living-dining area is a series of connected yet contrasting spaces transitioning from period to modern from the front to back, punctuated with a new cloakroom and contrasting blue vestibule.

Before after

Before after

Before and after

The addition of a new plywood stair to the centre of the house serves the new floor levels and improves circulation, with open treads and rooflight overhead pouring natural light deep into the plan.

Birch-faced plywood joinery is merged throughout the design whereas the kitchen is treated as an installation, or ‘space within a space’, with feature lighting accentuating the contrasting structure.

Architect’s view

Ultimately we feel we have designed a house that reflects the way our clients live. They like to cook and entertain, and the kitchen and dining spaces in the existing house, with low floor-to-ceiling heights and large central pier, did not facilitate this. We demolished the existing closet wing which meant we could increase this ceiling height. We also installed sliding doors to the rear and a large rooflight over the kitchen meaning the space is filled with natural light. An interesting aspect of this project is the use of timber, a material we really enjoyed working with. The exposed Douglas fir joists and plywood ceiling add warmth to the space.

06 proposed section b b

06 proposed section b b

Project data

Start on site August 2015

Completion July 2016

Gross internal floor area 
Form of contract JCT Minor Works with contractor’s design

Construction cost £374,345 ex VAT

Construction cost per m2 

Architect Waind Gohil + Potter Architects

Client Private

Structural engineer Webb Yates Engineers 

Other specialist consultants DWG Planning – Planning Consultant

CDM coordinator Clarke Banks Ltd

Main contractor John F Patrick Ltd 

Approved building inspector Approved Design 

CAD software used MicroStation

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