THE HERRINGBONE HOUSE
Mill Hill East, London, completion Autumn 2017
This late 1930s semi-detached house, originally designed as the promotional show home for the development of the estate, had belonged to the client's family since the late 1950s and had not been touched since. The client needed to reconfigure and extend the living spaces on the ground floor and modernize the layout of the upper floor.
With much of the original Art Deco features still retained, the new design responds to the will of creating an element of tension between tradition and modernity while adopting a mild juxtaposition between the two. The design thus strives to create a building to complement the original structure whilst, simultaneously, being in contrast with it.
The atypical bent plot informs a design approach that is new for the practice, creating the opportunity to experiment with massing and orientation. The wrap-around extension engages the garden with an oblique facade and a wedge-shaped tapered volume enriched by herringbone panels, inspired by the original pattern above the entrance, and set back to create movement and shadows.
Changes in floor and ceiling levels and angled planes and surfaces augment the dynamic qualities of the interiors, purging superfluous elements to produce a paired-back aesthetic, with plain colours and rich textures.