A new look for a Victorian style home
Spatial Design Architects
Is it possible to give a more contemporary look to the most traditional kind of British home?
Judging from a recent project carried out by Spatial Design Architects for a detached house in the county of Essex, the answer is a resounding « yes ». The building in question is a traditional house typical of British residential suburbs consisting of rows of single-family dwellings, normally on two or three levels, whose architecture is inspired by the Victorian style. But the one designed by Spatial Design Architects follows rather different criteria: functionality, elegance and practicality. And as the architects explained, the client’s brief was clear: « to open up the existing traditional house using contemporary forms of architecture with a strong focus on design ». This balance between daily living and a contemporary style was achieved perfectly by the choice of architectural and furnishing solutions. The construction consists of one renovated section plus a newly-built extension standing on a long, narrow plot sandwiched between other properties.
The house is built on three levels: a ground floor with garden, an upper floor and a habitable attic. The living area is on the ground floor, while the sleeping area is located on the upper level.
The open-plan living area is expanded by the outwardly-projecting extension with openings in the ceiling through which light floods in from above. It forms a single open space consisting of living, kitchen and dining areas. Only the surface geometry differentiates the various areas and divides them up according to their functions. The area with sofas near the entrance is devoted to entertainment, while a generously-sized dining table with eight comfortable chairs stands in front of the large window.
Next to the dining area is the open-plan kitchen complete with a snack bar for breakfast and quick meals, without walls separating the two areas. The space set aside for food preparation also has plenty of natural lighting. « The new organisation creates a fantastic living space for cooking, eating and spending time with friends, » explain the architects.
The sensation of continuity is further enhanced by the choice of a neutral grey colour palette and the decision to use a single type of floor covering in both the interior and exterior spaces. The More collection porcelain tiles from the Italian company Caesar chosen as the floor covering further enhance the spaces.
Chosen in the grey Manhattan colour in a 60×60 cm size with a natural finish, they accentuate the sense of space and leave plenty of room for personalising the interior design through the choice of furnishings and accessories. The sofas stand out for their unusually large and circular shape, upholstered in a colour that reflects the neutral tones of the building envelope. They contrast intentionally with the large dining table made of natural wood with pronounced grain, which symbolically underscores the importance of dining and the family nature of the home. The exterior materials, such as the choice of red cedar wood and galvanised metal sheets, also create an intentional play of contrasts. In short, the project has succeeded in combining the traditional look of British residential architecture with the contemporary characteristics of a modern building ideal for an informal, relaxed lifestyle.
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,05%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): <= 145 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 50 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9 matt
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant