Blue House Refurbishment

London-based architects De Rosee Sa were commissioned to create a dark brick extension to this Victorian terrace set within the Dartmouth Park Conservation Area. Dartmouth Park is a district of north London in the London Borough of Camden, on the slope of the hill that rises up to Highgate from Kentish Town. On its west side, it borders Parliament Hill Fields, notable for its views of the London skyline.

Having owned the upper maisonette for several years, the client purchased the ground floor flat and set to reinstate the building back to its original arrangement as a three-storey townhouse. De Rosee Sa Architects were brought on board to create a contemporary home respecting the classical character of the building, yet designing a space for a 21st-century family.

Faced with the challenge of how to increase the proportions of the property, the first priority was to tackle a low floor to ceiling height on the ground floor, opening it up to give it a sense of grandeur and generosity of space. Due to an unsympathetic level change between the front and rear of the ground floor, De Rosee Sa decided to move that level change further towards the front of the house.

By using this raised ground floor area as a cloakroom, framing the bay window with tongue and groove cupboards either side and a window bench underneath, they were able to create a unified ground floor towards the rear of the house. The extra height gained in the middle of the ground floor meant that the team now had the proportions to locate the kitchen in the middle, with an adjacent dining area. This put the kitchen at the heart of the home allowing for conversation and entertaining.

The living room is located towards the rear of the property, with a Defra-approved wood burning stove and new glazing towards the garden. A long skylight brings lights deep into the plan. Joinery around the fireplace gives the living area additional detail and atmosphere.

The extension into the rear garden was rebuilt and widened to match the depth and shape of the neighbouring roof pitch but using Blue Staffordshire brick to give it a more contemporary treatment with crisp architectural details. Cava limestone was used for the patio and steps up to the lawn area. De Rosee Sa also designed the western red cedar-clad garden sheds either side of the concise garden.

De Rosee Sa Architects

Structural Engineer/ Form Structural Design



Photo credits/ Alex James

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