Theed Street

House refurbishment, London



Isabella and Detmar Blow


RIBA Regional Award Nomination 1999


RIBA Journal Oct 1999
New York Times Sept 1999
RIBA Journal Oct 1999
Evening Standard Dec 1999

“A cultural manifesto that calls for art and fashion.” New York Times, 1999.

Originally built as workers’ cottages in 1826, the grade II listed house had small dark rooms and was largely unmodernised with no kitchen but had an outside WC. A two-storey glazed extension was proposed to modernise the house, a pioneering attempt to enlarge and remodel a period home.

The lightweight glass and steel construction, that houses the kitchen on the ground floor and the bathroom above, replaced an existing single-storey lean-to shed, tacked onto the rear elevation.

Simple, clean lines have been used throughout and a sensitive use of scale and materials has resulted in a contemporary extension that sits comfortably with the original Georgian building.

To incorporate as much natural light into the house as possible, glazed slots were inserted and the interior was opened up to allow framed views through rooms and out on to the garden. These slots were strategically placed to achieve a visual fluidity between spaces.

Further transparency has been achieved by continuing the kitchen flooring into the garden. The uneven cobblestones were salvaged from the ancestral Gloucestershire home of the clients.

The design of the bathroom was dictated by a tight floor plan.  The washbasin is a glass bowl sunk into a glazed unit, the bath tub features a glass side and the roof is also made of glass. The upper level of the extension, where the bathroom is located, is partially screened by external metal grills made from pre-rusted steel.