In London's Highbury North neighborhood, Paul Archer Design took a typical Victorian-style home and completely metamorphosed it into a contemporary and stylish residence known as the Power House. The renovation preserves the original home while adding several bold, modern touches. The main features of house include a highly sculptural timber clad rear extension, a large volume of open spaces and tall glass windows for ample daylighting.
The walls consist of glass panel to allow direct sunlight to penetrate deep into the plan. The upper floors of the extension are clad with a skin of Douglas fir battens, which run both inside and out as exterior cladding and interior wall lining, emphasizing the interplay between volumes. The cladding extends partially over the glass, patterning the light and providing shading.
A glass panel at the end wall of the first floor music/playroom creates a balcony overlooking the main area, thus connecting both the spaces. A glazed sliding door closes off the space when privacy is required. A structural glass box at the top of the house plays an essential role in providing lots of natural light. Wood is put to striking effect in this house and is abundant in all aspects of the scheme from the signature linear cladding, external decking, interior floors, storage spaces disguised as walls and bench seating, and an island unit with breakfast bar that runs the length of the kitchen.
A whole new ground floor level has been created beneath the original house. This has an open plan where a variety of activities – cooking, dining and relaxing – can all take place simultaneously in an arrangement that is conducive to 21st century family living. Fully glazed folding doors give direct access to the garden deck.
Another interesting area is children’s playroom, which has an entire wall consisting of built-in shelving with fold down desks. Its bright green hues add a striking touch while providing a strong counterpoint to the natural wood used throughout the house. The scheme was inspired by the house owner’s love of the outdoors and a taste for Nordic design. It is amazing how simple materials, natural lighting and huge open spaces can be the only ingredients to stylish contemporary home.
Images courtesy of Andy Stagg