Save the London Roof: the London butterfly roof returns to non-conformist Stoke Newington, North London.
The London roof is rapidly disappearing! As people don’t move and improve their homes instead, converting the roof space means that the distinct parapet roofscape is no longer being preserved.
Keen to avoid the mundane lean-to extension, the new rear extension is a modern interpretation of the traditional London roof form.
The roof adds a vibrant architectural language to the rear gardens of this mid-terrace house in North London. The ‘butterfly’ roof is expressed internally as exposed timber rafters and provides a dynamic architectural feature and natural warmth to the living room.
The original ceiling height was too low for a living room, making it necessary to excavate to create a more generous room volume. The new floor level was sunk to provide a ceiling height more in keeping with the rest of the house, creating a staggered relationship with the kitchen and the garden beyond.
A new wood-burning stove provides a focal point within the living room with a library wall, which hangs from the timber rafters above to occupy one side of the living room. In the evening the lighting is subtle and discreet, provided by indirect spotlights, avoiding the need for pendant lights hanging in the room.
As part of the refurbishment work, the entire ground floor has been reconfigured. The kitchen has been moved from the back of the house and relocated to between the new living room and the dining room to provide an open-plan link between rooms.The kitchen avoids raised cupboards, with two long counters providing an extensive worktop area to each side. The dining room has moved to the bay-fronted room overlooking the street. The dining room retains many of the traditional decorative features typical of a Victorian terraced house. The colour scheme is, however, bolder and is complemented by the addition of 1950s furniture and light fittings.
The dining room is now perfectly orientated for breakfast, facing the sun rising in the east. To the west, a large hexagonal glass window frames views of the small garden and the setting sun in the evening.