The house had sat empty for over 6 years and was in a state of dereliction when CAN Studio embarked on the project. It was leaking, had one hot tap and no heating. The project sought to radically transform the Edwardian semi-detached house into a colourful and functional family home topped with a stage set Mountain. Materials, shapes and colours are intersected throughout to create highly textural and tactile spaces. The house takes its design cues from numerous pop culture sources including a Disneyland rollercoaster and a scene from the film trainspotting. The house opens up progressively as you move through the ground floor, from the dark monochromatic front room through to the light filled extension.
The site slopes towards the garden which allowed the floor level of the back of the house to be lowered by a metre, connecting the new open plan kitchen/diner to the garden. A simple reconfiguration of the first floor provides an additional bedroom. There was a focus on opening up the space and using the exposed textures and structure as the final finish. There is little built-in furniture to provide ultimate future flexibility.
The existing fabric of the building has been thermally upgraded throughout with a newly insulated ground floor, internally insulated exterior walls and roof level insulation all added. The heating and electrics have been fully renewed to modern standards with high performance windows installed throughout. The kitchen and exterior lintel facings are made from recycled chopping boards and single use plastic. The exposed lasercut trusses in the extension nod to high-tech architecture and alongside the ranging pole columns, survey marker tiles and partially ruined brick wall add to a sense of the surreal.
Upstairs, the hallway ceiling has been removed opening it up to a new skylight above with the bones of the old house retained. A chequerboard bathroom references original tiles found in the house. The project is a highly personal response to the family’s tastes and way of living. For further information, please visit www.can-site.co.uk.
PROJECT: Mountain view House LOCATION: London, UK YEAR: 2020 ARCHITECTS: CAN STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Hardman Structural Engineers MAIN CONTRACTOR: Catalin London Ltd KITCHEN MAKER: Harry Lawson PHOTO: Jim Stephenson