Hackney House: Where design meets engineering
Updated: Nov 19, 2019
What was the concept?
Hackney is a leafy, green borough with a traditionally industrial past. The house re ects both the rich history of the borough and the incorporation of nature: it has a beautiful silver birch tree at the end of the garden and the façade now blends in with the other dark extensions that were erected along the rear elevations of Kersley Road. The Japanese charred cladding was formed in the traditional styling of Shou Sugi Ban. The hand-applied cladding battens were designed at 55mm to 25mm, equally spaced and set out, allowing for an undulating and ridged (or perforated) effect. The project intentionally has a hard appearance outside with a softer, playful inside. The Victorian-era house had been left to ruin and required modern upgrades such as a new downstairs WC, additional storage space, more light in the house and a full upgrade to modern living standards.
What were the Internal design touches?
The hallway features a pocket door, which effortlessly slides into the wall, allowing a small sofa to t perfectly in a space a hinged door would block. The resulting recon guration creates a small TV room or den space. As the façade is bold but considered, the choice was taken to puncture the roof with three large square skylights, lead ashed into the neighbouring party wall. A Soho House Home pendant dangles elegantly in the middle of the two other skylights, centrally above the bespoke DeVOL table which is centred on the cooker. A quirky triangle-shaped window re ected the roof slope of the side return, but also functionally allowed natural daylight into the TV room and formal living room, ultimately through the internal window and into the previously dark hallway.
The house had been extended before with a new loft, but now, coupled with our new rear extension and side return, it was appropriate to introduce a regency-style master bathroom that re ected the augmented size of the house. The marble lined bathroom has a 1.8m x 1.4m shower, a bespoke double vanity and a cast-iron bath.
Loud. Architecture & Interior Design were responsible for the interior design package, architectural responsibilities from schematic and planning to tender and nally to completion. We specially sourced interior nishes, joinery (including internal doors), and wardrobes for their rightful place in this re-imagined home. The newly sourced chequerboard encaustic entrance tiles, and plasterwork including ceiling roses were selected to re ect the traditional Victorian interior nishes. Modern, playful hints subtly pop throughout the house, from pocket doors to playful, bright wallpaper to the downstairs guest WC. The front façade had been subject to years of poor painting, which resulted in a build-up of thick white masonry paint. The paint was carefully removed and the brick below fully restored and re-pointed where necessary, with roof and chimney repairs also completed.
What building methods were used?
The cultural styling method of using Shou Sugi Ban, also known as ‘Yakisugi’ cladding, was selected as it appears to be a regular timber slatted cladding, whilst upon further inspection, each piece is unique. This distinctive design is very symbolic of Hackney’s architecture due to the Victorian rows of houses, which appear uniform from the streetscape but possess very individual rear extensions, all nestled amongst one another. The method of charring timber for cladding, is not a new one. Architects and designers such as Anish Kapoor, Peter Zumthor and Chris Dyson have all used the process
Key products used: Exterior Cladding
The thermally broken dark grey crittall doors blend into the charred timber cladding, so they look almost part of the cladding when closed. The steel doors are a nod to Hackney’s industrial past, as are features throughout the house, such as a steel bespoke shower screen, and an internal window between formal living room and hallway, which allows light from the new extension to brighten the traditional Victorian-sized hallway. The internal glazed window replicates the scale of the rear doors to the extension. The horizontal glazing bars were designed high, away from the user’s line of sight, to imitate the horizontal, elongated nature of the façade to the rear extension.
How you feel as an architect that employing myriad of techniques helps to draw out better architecture?
As buildings first evolved from the basic human need for shelter, there has been a variety of noticeably different types of construction, techniques and design. Most of my work is in central London, with space restrictions to the rear of properties, I find using interesting techniques or materials creates a beautiful extension which is site specific.
Currently in South London I am designing a pink powder coated steel clad building! This building also has dormers with traditional white painted sash windows to blend in with the surroundings.
Architecture cannot exist without interior design. An architectural design should crucially start with the site but furthermore start with the inside and design out. This symbiosis is how we design buildings for the user whilst also for the environment in which they exist.