Paul Archer Design


St George's House

Simple geometry and the dramatic scale redefine this home for a family in Islington.


Located in Islington, North London, the Victorian house was already spacious both inside and out, with an ample living room and a large garden. The property presented an exciting opportunity for an extensive remodel throughout.

Sitting in the dining area, underneath the big window, you can see so much. The Victorian curves of the ground floor living room walls, the glass balustrade meeting the Victorian balustrade going up the stairs, the glass window from the study looking over the basement, the sharp lines and curves of the concrete stairwell, not to mention the vast expanse of sky above. It's such an open space, and it highlights the craftsmanship of both the original builders and our builders. There's great simplicity and detail all at once. Owner, St Georges House

Project description

The ground floor of the property originally sat two meters above the garden with a large undercroft space beneath. To incorporate this space back into the main configuration, we lowered the floor to the level of the original undercroft and opened this up to form a double-height room that serves as the main kitchen and dining area. This provided better access to the generously sized garden which is emphasised by the addition of a large frameless glass box where the owners can be within the elements and enjoy the garden from within the living space. Materials have been thoughtfully considered, with Valchromat a recurring feature, along with polished concrete.

A defining feature of the property is a striking curved concrete staircase, enhanced by a new light well that brings an elegant brightness to the tactile work of art. To emphasise the use of dramatic height and scale within the property, we incorporated a Juliet balcony into the first floor, providing a bold view that stretches up to the full height of the three-floored home.

On the top floor, the ceiling has been opened up further to celebrate another dramatic sense of scale. Containing the main suite, the original brickwork has been retained to draw on the history of the building while also adding a textural quality to the minimalist interior design.

Outside, the generously sized garden is immaculately finished and becomes another functional part of the property with the addition of a pottery studio for the owner to work from.

Material design

The concrete staircase is a remarkable construction, cast in concrete on site. The ingeniously integrated handrail is formed by a mould created by the contractor which had to be purposefully broken into pieces to leave behind its unique shape. The staircase is completed with a polished finish to give a refined tactility to the structure.

Concrete cast handrail


Before GIFA
197 sqm
After GIFA
279 sqm
Building Contractor
B & A Woodworking Ltd
Structural Engineer
Andy Stagg

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