In recent years, the home extension has become an art to master in London. A difficult housing market where building is preferential to buying is creating space for stunning home conversions where old meets new.
On a quiet residential street in Hackney, what was once a typical compartmentalised Victorian terrace has now been transformed into a spacious, modern family home by architecture firm Studio 8Fold.
The brainchild of founders Aleksander Stojakovic, 29, and Alexander Frehse, 30, the brief was to create a generous home of blended spaces and textures, drawing inspiration from the rich experiences and mixed heritage of their clients.
“Through a variety of innovative design features such as the glazing in the loft and positioning of the staircase, Studio 8Fold managed to transform our dark house into a light filled contemporary home with a sense of space that we never dreamt was possible for a house this size,“ gleamed both clients.
Studio 8Fold began the design process by running a workshop with the clients to help extract the more interesting parts of the design brief. For instance, it became clear that the bathroom was a sacred space for the clients that required special attention.
The design included extensions at both ground and loft floor levels to provide the necessary living and work spaces needed for a young growing family. Virtual Reality headsets were used for on-site decisions to help the clients get a better idea of the space, and assist the coordination between designer and contractor.
Particular attention was placed on the types of lighting, and the look and feel of each room throughout the home. “With our clients being a creative couple, we equally wanted the spaces to emanate creativity, stillness and composition,” said studio 8Fold’s director Alexander Frehse.
The glazed side-return extension allowed for far more light, and opened the floor plan, with a subtle level changing emphasizing the cosy existing living room, and the modern new dining and kitchen area.
Nicknamed the ‘Love Nest’, a variety of textures were utilised to give the home a cosy feel. Integrity in use of materials were important in evoking the nuanced mixed heritage of the client couple.
Studio 8Fold’s aim for the loft extension was to be more than a simple box extension, but rather an internally warm series of spaces in birch plywood, with an external skin made up of a sustainably-sourced blue slate scaled facade.
A generous double-height space in the loft with a skylight above floods the stairwell of the home in light. The warmth of the timber extension, contrasts to the emerging, colourful surfaces from the floors below, striking a line as a nod to the original roof pitch.
“We took great care to maintain the history of the original terrace building, exposing original padstones, ridge lines and timber flooring where possible as re-imagined details,” said the studio directors.