Designed to create a seamless connection between a renovated ground floor layout and the southeast-facing garden,
the lateral marble extension of the newly refurbished house in Hampstead introduces volume and light into the previously dark and disconnected living spaces of the Victorian building.
renovation and new spaces
The architects aimed to design a renovation that emphasized contrasts, exploring the relationship and dynamic interaction between solid marble and the existing exposed brickwork. The result is functional and serene interiors, improved circulation and storage, and flexible and spacious areas to accommodate numerous guests.
The new entrance provides smoother circulation throughout the ground floor, with sliding oak doors allowing access from the hallway to the living room at the front of the house, while the dining room is adjacent to the living room. It is from the dining area that the first connection to the marble extension begins through an internal opening overlooking the new kitchen and lateral extension.
the marble extension
The extension is entirely clad in marble with soft gray veining and is internally and externally enclosed by two cubic frames characterized by angled and beveled edges that direct light and views throughout the house. These elegant angled edges soften any visual heaviness of the marble, which is illuminated by raised glazing along the northern boundary and a deep floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the rear courtyard garden. Three raised steel beams with integrated LED lighting and solar shading provide illumination throughout the day, bouncing shadows and reflections sinuously throughout the bright and airy space. The architects chose to reduce the thickness and, above all, the weight of the marble covering the doors, drawers, appliances, and reveals to just 6 mm. Each marble panel is reinforced with snap fixings, ensuring a secure and solid connection to the highly insulated structure.
marble in other spaces
Marble has also been used throughout the kitchen to make it functional and capable of withstanding frequent use, including for flooring, wall cladding, and cabinetry, thus creating a cohesive space. The kitchen, in particular, features a large island that appears to float lightly in the center of the bright space. The opening between the kitchen and the living area has been designed to reinforce the sense of solidity of the marble lateral extension, guiding all design choices. Materials have been carefully selected to flow from the interior to the exterior: concrete and white-painted bricks, minimally framed and sliding glazing with an embedded external frame in the floor, ceiling, and walls. These elements culminate in a seamless transition between the interior and exterior.
In conclusion, the Achilles House has been extensively renovated with lighter touches, including the five bedrooms on the upper floors: three of them transformed into bedrooms, one into a playroom, and one into a home office, all decorated with the same style and materials as the rest of the house.
Photo credits: Lorenzo Zandri – archdaily.com