Wandsworth Cottage

Architecture Residential Greater London , United Kingdom

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1. Street facade

The property is a small Victorian terrace house originally built as a modest workers’ cottage.

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2. Retained period feature

Near the front of the house, the entrance study area features a retained Victorian fireplace.

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3. View towards garden

The kitchen area forms the transition to the garden.

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4. Rear extension

Framed by black metal doors, beyond the house is the garden, which is bookended by a small yoga studio.

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5. Rear facade

The house has been extended on ground and first floor.

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6. Linking interior and exterior

The kitchen floor material continues onto the terrace, while the garden fence has been painted in the same colour as the kitchen cabinets.

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7. Kitchen

Providing contrast in colour and texture, the hanging cabinets have been finished in a whitewashed rough sawn Oak. The backsplash is formed in glazed beige tiles.

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8. Armoire closed

Freestanding cabinet in the kitchen area

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9. Armoire open

Additional kitchen storage space

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10. View towards front

Built-in furniture on both floors makes clever use of space, complementing the open layout and providing ample storage.

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11. New staircase

The reconfigured the stairs serves as a focal point in the home.

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12. New staircase

View from upper floor landing towards living area

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13. Staircase detail

Handrail and balstrade made from solid Oak matches the floor material.

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14. Triple-height stairwell

Natural light is brought into the centre of the house via a large rooflight.

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15. Bedroom

One of two bedrooms on the upper floor.

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Description

Wandsworth Cottage
Built in the late 19th century as part of a large new estate in South London, Wandsworth Cottage is a small Victorian terrace house originally built as a modest workers’ cottage. The house was in a tired state and there were structural issues that needed to be addressed, justifying the opportunity to fundamentally rearrange the layout. The 4-meter width of the cottage was the largest constraint and the existing stair position resulted in an unusable skinny second bedroom on the upper floor. This was overcome by designing a reconfigured triple height stairwell – our main architectural intervention. This has gained generosity on both floors and brings natural light into the centre of the house – a vital enhancement especially with the additional 2-storey rear extension.

Spatial Sequencing
With Wandsworth Cottage’s long thin open-plan ground floor it was essential to structure the space. This has been achieved by creating a series of centring gestures along the spatial sequence. To the front of the house there is the entrance study area which houses the retained Victorian fireplace. Next is the stair which conceals a small WC and is framed by a purple hued joinery piece. Most central is the living area which is anchored by a modern brick and concrete fireplace and gains the natural light that cascades down the stairs. To the rear leading to the garden is the kitchen which is separated by a large rooflight and a step down onto concrete tiles. These spatial features strike a balance between connectivity and the forming of distinct spaces to inhabit.

Imbued Softness
Our client wanted to create a tranquil but refined interior. This has been achieved by using a carefully selected material palette in which solid finishes are imbued with softness. The oak flooring and stair, bringing warmth to the space, are complimented by bare plastered walls and bespoke joinery in mellow tones. The use of off-white paint throughout softens the scheme further and creates an overall atmosphere that is hazy and laid-back.

Bespoke Cabinetry
The joinery for Wandsworth Cottage was designed in collaboration with joiner Ben Fry. The pieces are situated throughout the house but have a common language in tone and the minimal tongue and groove detailing, inspired by the house’s history. The introduction of white washed rough sawn oak in the kitchen cabinetry and pantry is a nod to the oak flooring elsewhere and adds complimentary texture into the scheme. The pantry appears like stand-alone piece but is an essential extension to the kitchen, functioning as the place to keep everyday items neatly tucked away.

Urban Kitchen Garden
Framed by black metal doors, beyond the house is the garden which is bookended by a small yoga studio. Designed by Adolfo Harrison the garden features a slab and gravel path winding around a series of intersecting raised beds full of herbs and vegetables. The wide bed edges double up as additional places to sit and enjoy the greenery. Fruit trees and elegant metal obelisques bring height into the relaxed meadow-style outdoor space and respond to the long and rectangular nature of the garden.

Details

Project size

102 m2

Site size

120 m2

Completion date

2021

Building levels

2

Project team

Patalab Architecture

Architects