The original rear ground floor of this large semi-detached Edwardian house in Bromley was extremely fragmented, resulting in small, dark spaces and little flexibility, our client wanted a home that was more open planned to give space for the whole family to connect in and use.
Our proposal was to unite the three-and-a-half rooms forming the rear ground floor into one large space. Rather than simply knocking down walls and creating a single space, we have worked with the owners to selecting the features of the existing house worth preserving, with the aim of increasing rather than reducing the richness of the resulting space.
The result is a light and bright open plan kitchen extension, with rich design details. The whole ground floor has been opened up to the garden, drawing in light and making this space enjoyable to be in.
"Working with Unagru was so easy. They instinctively understood what we needed and created design solutions we could not have dreamed of. We love our house, it is now a family home that we all enjoy spending time in together.' NH
The backstory, tbc
We decided we should record the intervention by exposing the new structure, to make this a clear feature of the house we painted it a bold red to make the structure stand out. Conceived as a single object, with flush, continuous surfaces: an asymmetric portal reminiscent of LeCorbusier’s Villa Savoye's entrance portal, Louise Bourgoise’s sculptures, and Sol LeWitt incomplete structures.
The portal is set 400mm beneath the ceiling level in order to preserve the trace of the original layout. One of the existing ceiling decorations is also preserved, with two new ceiling shapes playfully counteracting the traditional features.
Layout and main spaces:
The ground floor extension has given the house the additional space the client needed for their family. In the design we have helped to combine the old and the new, allowing the history of the house to be easily read.
The floor design is conceived to combine the clarity of the new design with the complexity of original fragments. The clients proposed to use a beautiful, traditional tile, together with a more typical engineered wood floor. The changes in materials coincide with the footprint of original rooms: the tiles denote the bay window area (now imagined as a greenhouse), and the breakfast room; the engineered wood outlines the original dining room and kitchen (with planks laid in two different directions).
The kitchen island is left free to cross the original partition lines: a very large, coloured, freestanding object. The entire kitchen was designed to wrap around the existing corner chimney breast and make the most of the high ceilings.
The result is a complex, but very clear and bright space composed of four volumes and enriched with four different ceiling shapes, and four different floor finishes.
Unagru also designed and participated at the interior design of the upper floors bedroom, closet and master bathroom.