The refurbishment of this traditional London residence pushed the envelope, combining the old with the new. The materials used pay homage to the industrial history of the local area.
THE REFURBISHMENT OF of the Signal House in London, by architects Fraher & Findlay, inventively combines a stark Victorian brick milieu with modern, minimalist architecture. Located in an old English terraced house, the residence was renovated in 2018, bringing the interior surfaces up to date and adding a fascinating extension in the narrow back yard.
“The client asked us to look at revisiting every aspect of the existing building to propose the most efficient use of space whilst creating a strong sense of place within each of the floors of the building”, Fraher & Findlay says.
The lower floor, which had previously seemed isolated from the other rooms, became the heart of the home: a kitchen, a dining and living room, and workspace were added to the ground floor and connected extension. Space was created for the bathroom and utility room by removing an old coal vault and lowering the upper floor. The extension added more than 40 square meters – the floor area grew from 108 to 150 square meters.
The lower floor, which had previously seemed isolated from the other rooms, became the heart of the home.
References to the local industrial past are made by the dark, perforated metal structures in the extension and the new, metal-framed staircase. The bathroom tiling, on the other hand, was inspired by the St. Pancras tube station.
For Fraher & Findlay, the goal of the project was to maximize the internal living space, while minimizing its intrusion into the garden. The extension left room for an attractive English garden bounded by the old brick walls at the back.
The refurbishment of Signal House is a prime example of how the most interesting architectonic details are often achieved with open-minded solutions and the boldness to combine diverse materials, styles and periods.
Edited: Nora Uotila Photos: Adam Scott