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Groupwork + Amin Taha remodels terrace around cantilevered travertine staircase

  • 1 Comment

Groupwork + Amin Taha has extended a typical Edwardian terrace house into its roof and basement levels and remodelled it with open plan spaces and new internal finishes for a family of five

Externally the building remains relatively innocuous, with detailing repaired and restored by referencing neighbouring properties and only some brass detailing on the door hinting at the new intervention.

Early internal opening up works revealed remains of original travertine flooring, and this was reintroduced at each level as well as being used as a finish in other areas of the building. The finishes vary from quarry tooled to polished, emphasising and differentiating the journey from interior to exterior, and from basement to ground and above.



The open areas allow flexibility. On the first floor, two adjacent full-height bookcases can fold out to subdivide the room, with one bookcase then folding out into a guest bed.

Running through all of these levels is a new staircase, constructed with loadbearing cantilevered travertine that has been left with a rough, ‘as quarried’ finish on the underside.

1 100 ga's section 1

1 100 ga’s section 1

Architect’s view

If there is a guide to working with existing structures it could perhaps be titled ‘Explore, Restore Ignore’. Explore the physical condition, fabric methodology and the social context that brought the specific design about, and restore and ignore with judicious reflection those areas that benefit the new narrative. Here the restoration of travertine, cherry panelling and plastered walls to form the internal backdrop is counterpointed with new tactile details whose genus alludes to the mid 20th-century work of Scarpa, Mies and Khan – new but related, perhaps at some time in the future mistaken as original interventions. Together these strategies helped structure and define the new occupant’s preferred way of living, leaving enough flexibility for them to grow, change and delight in its details which is perhaps the longer legacy of the restoration.

Amin Taha, founder, Groupwork + Amin Taha

1 100 ga's ground

1 100 ga’s ground

Project data

Start on site May 2014
Completion August 2016
Gross internal floor area 280m²
Form of contract or procurement route Traditional
Construction cost £1.6m
Construction cost per m2 £4,714 /m2
Architect Groupwork + Amin Taha
Client Private client
Structural engineer Webb Yates Engineers
M&E consultant MLM
Quantity surveyor Jackson Coles
Stonemason Atelier Romeo (Trani, Italy)
Metalworker Eastnor
Joinery Ecore
Fire engineering Optimise
Concrete specification Hanson
Project manager Groupwork
Approved building inspector MLM
Main contractor London Basement
Annual CO2 emissions (Estimate) 25kg/m2

1 5 detail 1

1 5 detail 1


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Readers' comments (1)

  • 'Incongruous' or innocuous? Incongruous related to the interior maybe, but not, surely, in the streetscape.

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