Wednesday 14 Aug 2013


Sam Tisdall Architects has completed a new build, end of terrace Victorian style railway cottage in Alexandra Palace, London, with a difference.

Externally, the 775 sq ft house is a replica of the neighbouring cottages on the street. This was a planning requirement. However, inside Tisdall has altered the volumetrics of the original rooms to create contemporary and open spaces. Tisdall designed a capsule galley kitchen in the centre of the ground floor space to partition living, eating and socialising spaces. He raised the ceiling heights on the ground floor and selected exposed timber joists and a central reclaimed oak beam.

One of the most dramatic features of the house is the vertical void above the stairs with a large light-well. The surrounding walls have been clad with timber boards and the stairs have been opened up to the sitting room. With the traditional cottage windows, bringing lots of light into the house was an issue. The new light well acts as a funnel to draw daylight to the ground floor, stairs and upper landing.

Upstairs the bedrooms have high ceilings which use the loft space to make the house feel more spacious despite its small size. In the second bedroom Tisdall created a sleeping platform which allowed for a compact home office and wardrobe space underneath. Due to the raised position of the bed, Tisdall inserted a porthole window to ensure the sleeping area is still well lit.

The project sits on an end plot in the garden of the adjacent house. As a result, the new house’s garden is concentrated mainly to the front of the plot. To make the best use of the space, Tisdall has introduced working timber vegetable planters.

Sam Tisdall Architects