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Dukes House

December 2017

Contractor: B & A Woodworking
Strutural Engineer: TZG Partnership
Photographer: Will Pryce

Reacquainting oneself with a national treasure. Dukes House is an ornate Edwardian Terrace, nestled in the shadows of Alexandra Palace and has been given a complete make over, giving the home a new sense of direction.

The house has served the family well over the years. With the offspring now fully grown, it was time to update the home to suit the changing dynamic of family life.

The architectural intervention is simple in its approach. Open up the rear rooms of the house to provide a large open plan kitchen, dining and living spaces that flow effortlessly into the garden. The key to the success of this project has been the crisp detailing owed in part to the efforts of the contractor. A clear example of this is evident in the way the ceiling to the new extension neatly connects with the existing ceilings. Two interlocking elements, simple in form devoid of shadow generating down-stands. Joinery items neatly line through, allowing ones gaze to journey through the space without interruption. This simplicity of form eliminates visual clutter allowing carefully selected interior pieces to flourish within the open plan space.

Large elements of glazing allow daylight to flood the rooms. The glazing runs full width across the rear of the extension, wrapping around the corner in a continuous band. Running the length of the side infill at high level, generating new views of the local landmark. Working closely with the suppliers, this innovative detail has achieved a lightness that gives the illusion that the corner of the extension is floating. Blurring the threshold of inside with out.

Internally, original features have been given a new lease of life with the full refurbishment of the entire house. With limited options to drastically improve the energy performance of the property, we have focused on upgrading insulation, windows with renewed more efficient services throughout.

The rear garden has been re-landscaped. As a series of three terraces, the garden has been levelled, making the garden more usable. The lower terrace an extension of the kitchen/dining provides amble room for alfresco dining. The mid terrace a simple band of greenery, followed by the upper terrace. Occupied by a studio, for the client to indulge in their passions of painting and music. The studio running full width along the rear of the garden has been clad with vertical timber strips to match the fencing, giving a sense of enclosure and connectivity.

RIBA chartered architectural practice
VAT No. 740 4247 56 - Reg No. 03820677