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Gresford Architects casts Hackney extension out of pink concrete


An Italian fantasy film has inspired the single-storey extension, which has been constructed from pink fair-faced concrete

The two-storey, three-bedroom Victorian terrace home is located in the Graham Road and Mapledene Conservation Area in Hackney, of which other typologies found in the local area include residential, ecclesiastical and the converted German Hospital. Gresford Architects has replaced an existing extension with the new pink wing, created extra space through an additional infill at the side constructed out of brick, and refurbished the property.

The single-storey extension to the rear celebrates the existing building’s form by mirroring the roofline of the previous closet wing. The architect has aimed to preserve the character of the house while adding much-needed space, including larger kitchen and living areas. The plan of the extension preserves the shape of the original floor plan, separating the closet wing from the main house and improving the connection between ground-floor spaces.

Internally, the pink concrete is exposed to create a ‘spine’ along the centre of the ground-floor space. This is meant to highlight the link between living area and the side infill extension. The concrete has been left exposed with board marks and aggregate visible, while the side infill is enclosed by a London Stock brick wall, selected to match the materiality of the existing house and garden wall.

16 gresford architects dalston interior photography by andrew ogilvy

A glazed roof sits on top of the infill extension and inside, a low-level wooden bench runs the full length of the brick wall.

The furniture is eclectic and colourful to contrast to the natural exposed materiality of the extension. An internal winter garden filled with plants is positioned between a sunken seating area and the garden merges inside and outside space. Lighting has been designed carefully to cast shadows of leaves on the walls and ceilings, with discreet spotlights positioned in specific locations. Meanwhile the colour palette has been inspired by Italian fantasy drama Satyricon by Federico Fellini.

Architect’s view

The client at Riston Road approached us to extend this small Victorian terrace to create a larger family living space. A single-storey extension has achieved the extra space required while maintaining the legibility of the existing building - in a way which reflects the character of the artist homeowner. Concrete was chosen because of its robust presence and its ability to be left exposed. Board marks, air bubbles and aggregate are visible and celebrated. Pink was used to complement and contrast with the indoor planting, which is designed to blur the distinction between inside and outside space in an unusual way. Designed as an antidote to minimalism, and inspired by stage design, the interior is willful, eccentric and eclectic.

Tom Gresford, director, Gresford Architects

Plan site edit

Project data 

Start on site November 2017
Completion August 2018
Gross internal floor area 68.6m² (ground floor); 53.5m² (first floor)
Form of contract Traditional (JCT Minor Works contract)
Construction cost Undisclosed
Architect Gresford Architects
Client Private
Structural engineer Constant Structural Design
CDM coordinator Goddard 
Approved building inspector Assent Building Control
Main contractor London & Sons

Section aa edit


Readers' comments (2)

  • Superb - love the pink and the distressed interiors.

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  • Why, when concrete is such a key element of the design, does the extension involve such a quantity of structural steelwork?

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