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FIRST LOOK

Mulroy Architects unites Victorian villa with contemporary extension at Muswell Hill

  • 2 Comments

A reconstruction of a Victorian villa once on the site and a new, slate-clad accompanying block combine to form this three-bedroom home in north London

Within the villa is a studio, utility room, guest bedroom and bathroom, while the larger block houses two bedrooms and adjacent bathrooms. The two forms are connected via a glazed hallway. 

The house can be entered via a small door in the villa or a large wooden door in the more contemporary block, which opens onto a glazed lightwell.

Architect’s view

Despite its charm, the existing villa was of very poor quality and a complete rebuild was favoured, allowing the contemporary volume to appear as a sympathetic yet contrasting addition. Site constraints were overcome through careful consideration of internal levels to maximise usable space, alongside the clients’ willingness to take risks internally where they couldn’t outside. In a house where the context experienced external constraint, the contrasting internal playfulness offers surprise and delight.

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Muswell Hill by Mulroy Architects

The large entrance opens towards an impressive glazed lightwell directly above the visual focus for the property, the bright yellow steel staircase. Polished concrete flooring continues through to the open plan living and kitchen space forming the heart of the home.

The first floor encompasses the Victorian-style building with a studio, utility room, guest bedroom and bathroom. Arched windows softly frame each room, showcasing the clients’ strong decorative style. The contemporary element adds two large bedrooms and adjacent bathrooms, which echo the entrance sky light, allowing natural light to flow in easily. Black external cladding blends with the dark slate roofing and window features of the villa. A simple glazed hallway connects the two, enabling side access to the garden.

Sections

Muswell Hill by Mulroy Architects, sections

Project data

Start on site 
January 2016
Completion 
November 2017
Gross internal floor area 256m2
Form of contract Design and Build
Construction cost £648,436
Construction cost per m2
 £2,533
Architect 
Mulroy Architects
Client 
Private 
Structural engineer 
Osborne Edwards
Garden design Emily Allen Gardens
Staircase consultant Design + Weld
Project manager 
Mulroy Architects
CDM coordinator
 Mulroy Architects
Approved building inspector 
Mulroy Architects
Main contractor Karlex Services
CAD software used 
Vectorworks

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • Is 'unites' the right word? Is the reconstructed cottage complemented by the neighbouring 'extension'? - which seems in reality more massive than the section and plan might suggest.

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  • Industry Professional

    This project was showcased on Grand Designs and I remember very little of the original building remaining. It was mostly rebuilt.

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