Elmwood Road

A ‘new’ home for entertaining and relaxing, the project re-establishes a single house from a building divided into flats, creatively re-imagining how it is lived in and enjoyed.

Elmwood Road is a fascinating project with many untypical aspects. The owners had lived in the upper floor flat of the converted mid terrace house for some years and purchased the ground floor flat in order to recreate the single dwelling. Their brief was to design a home in which they could entertain friends and family, and also a place to relax and re-energise. Pragmatism was a priority, combined with exacting quality and a richness of materials and finish.

Kitchen island
En-suite bathroom

A wide range of ideas explored how to make the best use of the existing spaces and challenged conventional layouts. The 200sqm house offered many possibilities and it was decided not to extend at ground floor but to reconfigure the layout to create distinct but connected entertaining spaces. At first floor a sitting room is provided together with a master bedroom suite and guest bedroom. At second floor a roof extension provides a study space and a bedroom and new bathroom occupy existing rooms.

Close up of the roof extension
Internal detail of roof extension structure and lighting

Although much of the design focus was on how the house was to be lived in, this also led to major alterations to the building façade to admit daylight and increase connection to the re-landscaped garden. New large openings create light filled spaces that are visually more connected to one another, as well as outside. At roof level the bold decision was made to agree a common appearance for the proposed roof extension and the neighbour’s existing extension. The result is a new coherency to the pair of houses that had previously been lost.

Cantilevered end of kitchen island
Dining room

Bespoke joinery was designed throughout the house. A library wall to the dining area extends through to the kitchen and includes a giant concealed door. The kitchen itself has single large island unit centred on the window bay where a seating area enjoys views of the garden. Perhaps the most significant joinery piece is the shaped plywood roof structure to the roof extension study. This finely detailed and crafted structure folds upwards to create additional volume and is a bold, dynamic addition to the Edwardian home.

Roof extension from the garden
Roof extension interior

Conibere Phillips provided a full architectural service from initial design ideas to completion, including garden hard landscaping design. The project was completed in January 2019 and was shortlisted in the 2020 New London Architecture Don't Move, Improve awards.