Grain House is a remodelled and extended Victorian, semi-detached property in the de Beauvoir Conservation Area in Hackney, north London. Designed for a young family, the house connects original and new living spaces and creates a visual link from the entrance, through the family spaces to the garden and on to the new artist’s studio at the back of the site.
Prior to the works, the house was arranged as a series of small, cellular spaces with only a narrow ‘servant’s stair’ connecting the living spaces on the lower and upper ground floors. Our design dramatically reconnects these living spaces with the creation of a 2-storey courtyard at the heart of the house.
The lower ground floor rear extension responds to the nature of the site as a large urban garden. The pitched roof, placed parallel to the rear of the house, brings the elevation back down towards ground level, making a subtle addition that feels subordinate to the main house, garden and surroundings.
Internally this arrangement allows the ceiling to raise upwards over the kitchen and to form a high opening to the dining space window. The ceiling then pitches down to form a more intimate picture window from the kitchen.
The materials have been sourced to age with the property so that they mature over time, providing a rich texture of weathered and patinated finishes. The studio, shaped in response to the profile of an old summer house, takes the form of a magical imaginary woodland creature nestling amongst the trees: like a piece of inhabited sculpture.
Webb Yates Engineers was responsible for the full civil and structural design of the scheme working closely with the client and architect to produce beautiful and contemporary living spaces.
- Don't Move, Improve! 2021 Materiality & Craftmanship, winner, May 2021
- Hackney Design Awards 2020 shortlisted, Dec 2020
- RIBA Regional Award 2020 shortlisted, Dec 2020