To embrace indoor/outdoor living, this Victoria-era house in London is outfitted with a handsome new extension wrapped in Shou Sugi Ban cladding. Designed by Neil Dusheiko Architects, the Black Ridge House provides a modern contrast to the original home’s Victorian brickwork. Inspired by biophilic design principles, the new-build was constructed with several energy-saving features — such as a green roof and underfloor heating — and sustainably sourced timbers to connect the home to nature.
Inspired by the rooflines of the area’s early Warner houses, the Black Ridge House features gabled volumes clad in Kebony, a sustainable and durable alternative to tropical hardwood. The engineered wood was charred using the Shou Sugi Ban technique to create a beautifully blackened finish that’s also weatherproof.
“The extension forms a contrast to the Victorian brickwork so that the two elements of the house are distinct and a separate visual language is used,” the architects wrote. “Our design embraces the philosophy of Biophilic design principles, addressing our innate attraction to nature and natural processes. By constructing the extension out of a natural product [timber] whose surface is formed by a natural process [fire] — we celebrate nature. The design also includes ideas of wabi-sabi — a world view that is based on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. Beauty is seen as being ‘imperfect, impermanent and incomplete’.”
The extension includes an open-plan kitchen, dining room and living area on the ground floor, while a new master bedroom and skylit bathroom are located on the upper floor. The building opens up to the garden through large double-glazed metal windows. Airtight detailing, underfloor heating, ample access to natural light and an insulating green roof keep energy demands to a minimum. From the sliding door made with reclaimed timber panels to the oak worktop and cupboard doors, the light-filled interior utilizes natural materials.
Images ©Tim Crocker