The inspiration: In modern days, we spend more time in the kitchen than residents did in the Victorian era, so many London homeowners build wraparound L-shaped extensions in the back to provide additional cooking and dining space. Tom and Robin wanted to invent an infill extension that was different from the rest, and they targeted the roof as a way to set it apart. Most of these types of extensions are topped with a flat roof that makes the old and new construction indistinguishable from the inside. Instead, Tom and Robin devised a multi-pitch roof outfitted with north-facing slot windows to create an evolutionary light experience and clear delineation between old and new. This elaborate and geometric structure informed the rest of the design.
Square footage: 33 square meters (about 355 square feet)
Budget: Approximately £82,000 (about $104,000)
Cladding: Rheinzink Zinc Facade Covering. “We chose this one because it’s the most natural version of it,” Tom says. “This is the color that zinc is more akin to in its raw state. Zinc, in its raw state, has that soft silver metal look, which gradually, over time, gets a bit duller. We didn’t want it to be too aggressive and too angular and too sharp because the form is quite sharp and aggressive, and therefore it was important that the metal had a softness to it.” Zinc is also long-lasting and self-healing, Tom notes.
Window and Door Frame: Custom Douglas Fir with Osmo Oil Stain in White. “We used a Douglas fir, which is a quite fast-growing, reddish timber,” says Tom. “We used an Osmo white oil to tone it down a little bit and make it a bit softer. That was actually just made by a local carpenter bespoke for us.”
Window and Door Pane: Fixed Panel Glass. “Fixed panel glass is cheaper to do than moving glass, so we kept the cost down by making a big, single piece of fixed glass and a nice, simple, single door that opens up,” Tom says.
Wall Paint: Farrow & Ball Wevet with Modern Emulsion Finish
Floors: Microcement. “In general, in our practice, we try to avoid the use of concrete,” says Tom. “Concrete is amongst the most destructive materials. It accounts for an incredible proportion of CO2 emissions in construction. If possible, we try to limit it. The client, though, really wanted a concrete floor finish, so we went for something called a floor. Instead of being 100 millimeters thick, it’s actually only two or three millimeters, so it’s very thin. It works well as a substitute for concrete. It’s slightly more controllable.”