Brought back to life
Friday 31 Aug 2012


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Duggan Morris Architects' design project Hampstead Lane in Highgate, one of London's most expensive suburbs, has had strict conservation laws to adhere to regulated by the Highgate Society.

This low rise modernist property built in the 1960's, was designed and built by a well-known local architect couple, Douglas Stirling-Craig and his wife Margaret. The original building, a Brutalist style of exposed surfaces inside and out, featured 4/5 bedrooms, along with reception rooms, a kitchen, dining room, utility room, two bathrooms, an integrated garage, and a 60ft garden overlooked by a glass-dominated rear of house.

Working closely with the client a brief emerged which sought to carry out a full 'renovation' of the building fabric, whilst also intervening carefully to create a contemporary dwelling, with a more fluid arrangement of space, rather than the cell-like layout of the original house.

The brief also sought a greater connection of the living spaces to the gardens, which themselves would be completely redesigned. At roof level, it was intended to replace the existing membrane with a modern version, whilst the services were completely overhauled to modern day standards.

The renovation works focussed on retaining the integrity of the original house, through extensive research and analysis of historic documents, drawings, photographs and archived material. Much of the work involved a cleaning and restoration process for the exposed block work, whilst the glazing system was designed to closely accord with the original single glazed system, but achieving modern standards and U-Values.

Where interventions to the layout of the internal spaces has been required, this has evident through the clear communication of new structural elements; a new dark grey steel frame which spans the key spaces, in place of previous load bearing walls. The project also includes a fully integrated landscape scheme, which produces a greater connection to internal spaces.

Duggan Morris Architects

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