The project transforms a mid-century house on Green Lanes in North London into a unique family home that is simple and restrained from the outside but sophisticated and materially rich and inside.
The existing house, a 1960s end of terraced home in Hackney, had its own unique typology - simplistic in form and reminiscent of a child’s drawing of a house; complete with distinctive front gable, tall chimney pot, front garden and long path to the front door. The brief for the project was developed using nimtim’s briefing game and identified a desire for spaces that would be calming and restorative for adults to sit, alongside spaces that were playful and robust for children. Two distinct zones were created: an area of movement defined by hardwearing finishes such as ply-lining and a softer more tactile zone defined by textural finishes including neutral-coloured textured natural plaster that gives a sense of warmth and diffused light.
To demarcate these two separate layers of the house nimtim proposed an internal partition that would run vertically through the entire house: unifying new and old. This screen is infilled with panels of solid timber, fluted and clear glass to allow for natural light to diffuse across the spaces, frame views or provide privacy between the different uses.
The open plan ground floor is anchored around the kitchen which acts as a ‘room within a room’ and clad in a deep burgundy recycled paper composite. The kitchen was co-created and delivered by Holte, using a lego model the client brought to their showroom. It affords views onto the separate dining and living spaces through large hatches with sliding fluted glass screens allowing for connection or privacy when needed. A playful and large contemporary interpretation of a serving hatch, often found in kitchens of the house’s era, faces onto the dining space and frames views of the garden beyond.
Externally, the colour of the existing bricks provided the basis for a palette of warm reds, pinks and burgundies. New windows were installed with bespoke concrete lintels in a rich pink to provide solar shading and a connection with the existing architectural front elevation.
nimtim are always keen on collaborating with sub contractors and enjoy learning from specialists and local craftsmen. We try to ensure that the design team are working together towards a cohesive vision and through our collaborative approach we are able to make bold choices with a sense of playfulness and joy. At our Burgundy Lanes project we worked closely with a joinery subcontractor (Chip Fix Furniture), concrete specialist (Woody’s Concrete) and of course Holte as well as the main contractor (Griffon construction).
The outcome is a house whose simple exterior gives way to an interior that is full of diffused light and rich with materiality, texture and warmth. Spaces that are welcoming and restorative.
"For me personally the most successful elements of the project are the quality of light playing on the timber vertical elements along with the consistency of materials and quality finish throughout.
We love entertaining guests for dinner and the kitchen works so well - I can cook easily and still feel fully connected to the rest of the space and people.
The house has a very calm, relaxing feel which I am very fortunate to own and enjoy. I am grateful for the time and effort everyone involved put into the project."
Photographs by Jim Stephenson