A dramatic new interior inserted into an extended 1970's terraced house, while a new staircase sits in a triple height space with a reconfiguration of internal floor levels from 2 to 3 stories. This is the ‘White Rabbit House’ project by Gundry + Ducker that has won the Most Unique Character prize in the NLA’s Don’t Move, Improve! 2020 awards.
The house is part of a terrace of 1970s neo-Georgian houses. Whilst the front facades of the house was designed in the Neo-Georgian style, the interior layout and design were generic 1970’s house builder.
The ambition was to turn a very ordinary 2.5 bedroom house into something special, whilst accommodating 3 double bedrooms and plenty of bathrooms along with generous living space and built in storage.
Stripping out the entire interior back to just the external walls and the roof, Gundry + Ducker inserted a new interior as a modern interpretation of a Georgian house interior. The design is centred around a cantilevered pill-shaped staircase that sits in a triple height space, with the upper rooms accessed direct from the staircase. The hallway has a chequerboard floor in marble and terrazzo with the terrazzo continuing up the staircase.
A rear extension provides a kitchen and dining space. A full width roof light illuminates the middle of the plan. Local planning restrictions inexplicably prevented dormer windows to the rear (or any form of roof extension), so the solution was to move the floor levels around to achieve three stories, within the available space.
The design was intended to provide a contrasting route through the house. The initial volume of the entrance hall is contrasted by the scale of the arched tunnel beyond. There is a visual link through the house from the front door through to the arched garden window and the space beyond. The rear facade is composed of white brick and terrazzo and alludes to Georgian marble fireplace surrounds.
The judges were delighted by the bold and playful personality of White Rabbit House. Expressing a real character of its own with conviction and continuity, the judges enjoyed how the design carries original details throughout the home and the drama of the iconic and contemporary staircase in the triple height entrance space.
Don’t Move, Improve! is a competition hosted by New London Architecture (NLA) – an independent forum for discussion, debate and information about architecture and construction in the capital – celebrating London’s best and most innovative home extensions and improvements.
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