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Wandsworth House


Project Details

Within a Conservation Area


Finkernagel Ross Architects

221-222 Shoreditch High Street , London , E1 6PJ , United Kingdom

It’s always a point of discussion with a potential client – does one buy a property and renovate straight away or move in, settle, and live in it first? It’s an attractive thought, moving into a completed home – combining the stress of it all into one long process knowing that when it’s done, it’s done – a huge sigh of relief in the eyes of many of our clients. Yet some take a different approach, they move in with a view to understanding the house and how they will live in it better. Where is the best spot for a morning coffee with a friend, how does the light move through the house, where will they retreat from the world, or where will they enjoy a long lazy lunch with family and friends? There is merit in this view especially with those clients who see their property as their forever home. So was the case with our clients at Wandsworth House. Having lived in their home for many years and unsuccessfully started the process of re-thinking the way their home worked before, our clients were clear in what they wanted: a razor-sharp, unobstructed, contemporary new space that contrasts from their traditional Victorian home, dramatic ceiling heights, and sun, sun and more sun. For them, this project was more about changing the way they live rather than creating more space. The unobstructed part of the brief was what proved to be the challenge. Most things that appear so simple rarely are. So, we set to work with our Structural Engineers, SD Engineers, sketching and modelling ways in which we could support the extraordinarily long first floor closet wing extension above so that we could have a space below which was completely free of any columns. This would require not one, but two, structural cantilevers and because we love a challenge we decided that not only would you not see any visible structure in the space below but we would also accentuate the hovering first floor extension by wrapping it with glass which let the light flood in. Our clients now love the space we have created and it has changed the way they live. A dramatic, unobstructed and impactful space where their family and friends can come together, while keeping the more traditional layout of the existing home as private spaces for retreat is the result and in essence, exactly what they wanted.