The familiarity of stone in a London project

London: a Victorian terraced house, a family needing more space and stone as a common thread.

From these premises an extension made of natural construction materials sturdy and easy to maintain in the long term, was born. This is Hansler Road, Alexander Owen Architecture + Interior Project. The brief was for a single storey rear extension to accommodate an open plan kitchen-diner, utility room and WC plus a garden room to accommodate an office, gym, bar and social space. All materials were chosen for their natural beauty and remain laid bare to create the natural aesthetic of the space, making for a very warm and tactile environment. The decision to use marble in particular came about through the process of testing architectural ideas and very simply getting to know our client and in this particular instance, a marble bust held great significance to the family and this ‘hook’ allowed the architects to build narrative and meaning into their home, which totally transcends the material itself. 

The wider site context provides an abundance of trees and greenery, which as the day progresses cast an ever changing array of light and shadow across the site. The final selection of marble was informed by this layering of dappled light on top of the veining, coloration and movement inherent to each type. The Arabescato is the lighter marble and has a much softer, hazier veining and the Bardiglio, which is the darker marble has a more structured, sharper veining. The movement of light and shadow across the marble facades blurs the two types together and very much blends the architecture into the surrounding foliage as the day progresses. The forms and joints created between the two marble types have been designed to make the building look monolithic and heavy, whilst drawing the eye across and around the building from inside to out. The marble cuts themselves were drawn ‘freehand’ digitally to give the building a natural drama and portray the idea of the two stone variants being compressed together, under immense pressure over long periods of time.


Location: LONDON, UK
Year: 2020
Architect & Interior Design: ALEXANDER OWEN ARCHITECTURE
Structural engineer: ELITE DESIGNERS
Approved Building Inspector: PWC
Photography: FRENCH+TYE

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