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Ravenswood

Ravenswood

Small Project Highly Commended 2014

Location: London, UK
Client: Private
Architect: Maccreanor Lavington
Structural Engineer: Greig-Ling Consulting Engineers
Wood supplier: Brooks Bros (UK) Ltd
Wood species: Siberian Larch, Douglas Fir
Services Engineer: Freeman Beesley Ltd
Quantity Surveyor: PT Projects Ltd
Chartered Building Surveyor: Martin Lewy

A side extension to a terraced house in a modernist estate North London, the project is a sensitive adaption and expansion of a modest family house. Located on the edge of an estate designed by Robert Ballie for St Pancras Housing Association in 1967, the Ravenswood terrace fronts a suburban tree lined street. The extension is on the corner of the estate and at the transition point with the street.

The design approach has been to treat the project as an extension to the estate rather than a side extension to the house. Maccreanor Lavington did not want to compromise the integrity of the estate as an ensemble, and so designed the infill to relate to the front façade of Ravenswood and the return of the maisonette block, called Wheatley, behind. At the same time it was important to relate to the suburban street in front and mediate between the two different typologies.

The extension is treated as a light corner infill, designed to be recognizably different with an apparently simple timber structure and infill. It is glazed on two sides and subtly adjusted proportions to windows and spandrels identify it as a later addition. The larch spandrels and the bespoke douglas fir window frames are pre-weathered or treated with semi-opaque stains. The objective was to complement the original building in tone and character, while enclosing a very different type of space. Internally, the living room expresses the douglas fir structure, frame, cladding and floor. In contrast to the exterior, the interior is treated with a white osmo finish.

The original house has been reorganised to increase circulation space and add a study, bathroom, bedroom and living room. The existing room proportions and layouts have been adjusted for ease of use and the garage has been demolished to create a side terrace.

The whole building is set back from the street behind the original front garden, which has been built up and planted. A new fence wraps continuously around the corner, creating a new setting with new external space trees, planters and cycle storage.