‘Vestry Road’ is a radical remodelling, including rear and side extension, to a Victorian terraced house in Camberwell. Exposed brickwork, white-oiled timber and concrete are combined in a celebration of raw, natural materials. This project by Oliver Leech Architects has won the Compact Design of the Year in NLA’s Don’t Move, Improve! 2020 awards.
The two-storey house was in poor condition, with little natural light and a cramped kitchen so the brief was formed from the client’s wish to provide new open-plan cooking and eating spaces that face out onto the garden, with a focus on natural light and materials to create more usable space and a calm atmosphere.
Volumetrically, the extensions are articulated into two distinct volumes. A side extension provides extra width to the previously narrow kitchen, with pitched skylights overhead to bring in plenty of north light into the dining space throughout the day. A rear extension projects slightly further into the garden, framing a set of bifolding doors across a low-height window bench. The bench provides flexible seating that developed from the client’s particular desire to be able to sit and read in the evening sun, whether with the doors open or closed.
The judges praised Vestry Road for its stylish and compact design. They commended the careful and imaginative use of space which sympathetically worked with the existing building fabric and made the home feel spacious despite its modest size. Superb detailing and beautiful materials gave it the calm and intimate atmosphere the owner was hoping for.
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.
1 / 31show thumbnails previous picture next picture start slideshow close lightbox