Brighton-based FAB Architects have renovated and extended a terraced house in Croydon, using a range of playful forms and timber finishes both inside and out.
FAB’s first built work, Green House is the culmination of a client-focused design process that was partly inspired by a love of trains expressed by the client’s son.
Developed through digital models and using VR, the design draws upon simplified locomotive and traditional English train station tropes and motifs to create a playful space, utilising a tall, twin pitched roof to maximise a sense of volume and light.
Keen to create a bright, warm space, FAB pursued a rich timber material palette with tongue-and-groove larch cladding externally, reflected on the interior through the use of plywood batons and CNC cut plywood bench seating.
Past a plywood re-clad staircase and through a hidden sliding (Schüco) door you are greeted by a series of arches, drawing the eye through a porthole window to the garden, and garden studio beyond.
Entering the living space, to the left the Architects have created a large, open, L-shaped kitchen with a generous island for food preparation and informal dining, illuminated by polished concrete hanging pendants. Thin profile, bright white quartz worktops with sporadic dark grey veins sit atop deep blue timber cabinet doors. Each door is adorned with a single flat round oak handle, hand turned from oak by a small Brighton based joiners and individually hand- painted.
Tucked beneath the staircase the Architects have fitted a small washroom and utility space concealed within a curved grey cupboard with plywood timber batons.
Open, but not open-plan, the arched internal openings work with the building structure to divide the living space into four zones; dining, sitting, kitchen and utility, whilst maintaining a sense of social connection and light. This brings a degree of order to the client’s high-pace family life.
Through the sliding doors to the rear façade, the extension and garden studio create an intimate and secluded courtyard garden, perfect for young children, and encased by the warm palette of the slatted larch cladding.
By day the extension is bright and spacious, with rays of light illuminating the space and timber finishes. By night, the garden is lit indirectly through the glazing of the extension and a pair of black and copper tubular wall lights. The project creates a series of connected, yet individual spaces that take on different characteristics at different times of day.