Having been abandoned and left to ruin following a fire, this Victorian townhouse has finally had the makeover treatment that its original architecture deserved…
Transforming older buildings into homes fit for today is nothing new, but few projects will begin from such a ruinous starting point as this West London house.
When homeowner Mirva Yoshinari first approached Coupdeville Architects with the project, the property – a Victorian town house – was in a sorry state of repair. After a fire, the house had been gutted and abandoned with most of the windows to the rear missing and the brickwork still charred. Its only residents were a couple of pigeons nesting in the open roof timbers.
The aim of the project was to give the property a new lease of life, taking the old layout of the building and reimagining it with a more modern feel. It went from being a three bedroom to now a five-bedroom townhouse of approximately 2,500 sq ft.
“The toughest part of this job was the repair works to the building after the fire,” explains Pravin Muthiah, a Partner at Coupdeville Architects. “When we took on the project, the internal floors and walls were still in a burnt out state and most of the back of the building had to be removed due to damage. The challenge was to rebuild to the new layout yet try to reinstate the elements of the building that were lost in the damage.”
The burned timbers in the roof were replaced with a new floor adding space to the property, and the rear of the house was extended to open up the ground floor and create a large kitchen and dining area.
Due to the small size of the rear garden, Coupdeville designed the full width folding doors to fully open up, allowing the internal space to flow into a small but well-designed courtyard. In the summer, the kitchen and garden become the most sociable part of the house with the courtyard capturing the sunlight and seating allowing plenty of guests to enjoy the space.
The internal materials of the kitchen – concrete and distressed timber – were chosen to further link the indoor and outdoor space, with the London stock brickwork being retained and the steelwork exposed below the ceiling. The concrete of the courtyard is established inside in the form of a central kitchen bench that becomes the hub of the room thus creating an overall industrial style with a luxury feel.
The owner – who is also an interior designer – specified the key kitchen and bathroom products herself. In the kitchen this included a Smeg hob, AEG oven and dishwasher and Samsung fridge freezer whilst the bathrooms feature products from Duravit, Lefroy Brooks and a freestanding bath from Kohler.
The guest bathroom also contains a Moroccan copper basin with tap made from a garden tap and copper tube with a thermostatic mixer in the wall to provide warm water.
The overall result is a home that manages to combine contemporary style with its more aged surroundings. “The flank wall in the dining area opposite the kitchen is probably my favourite aspect of the project,” says Muthiah. “It emphasises the rawness of the materials used throughout the room with the exposed steel and the recovered brickwork from the demolition of the rear of the house. “It brings an element of the external building that was lost back inside the property which creates a link to its past.
Coupdeville Architects | www.coupdeville.net