A Glass-Wrapped Extension Brings a Touch of California Modernism to This London Backyard

The addition references residences in Palm Springs with a flat roof, an indoor/outdoor scheme, and terrazzo touches.

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Project Details:

Location: North London, United Kingdom

Architect: Will Gamble Architects / @willgamble_architects

Footprint: 3,280 square feet

Builder: LJB Building Services LTD

Structural Engineer: Axiom Structures

Interior Design: Will Gamble Architects and Huxley Home

Photographer: Ståle Eriksen / @stale_eriksen

From the Architect: "The client approached Will Gamble Architects to extend, reconfigure and refurbish this unique detached grade 2 listed villa in a conservation area. The brief was to sensitively restore the upper parts whilst creating a contemporary multifunctional living space along the lower ground floor to accommodate a number of different uses—working, entertaining, and relaxing. The client’s strong affiliation to Palm Springs was a consideration during the design process. The scheme draws inspiration from modernism, and more specifically desert modernism that defines the unique architectural landscape of Palm Springs, California.

"Desert modernism, notable for its use of floor to ceiling glass, clean lines, natural materials, and the connection between indoor and outdoor space became the driving principles behind the entire scheme, whilst sensitively responding to the architectural significance of the grade 2 listed building.

"A lightweight contemporary addition was proposed that celebrates the unique character of the host building. The floor-to-ceiling glass sits on a monolithic plinth of terrazzo, anchoring the intervention into the surrounding garden. Like ‘fingers,’ the terrazzo extends from inside to out, establishing a unique connection with the surrounding garden and reinforcing its relationship between indoor and outdoor space. The honest use of terrazzo and Douglas fir externally is continued through into the interiors. Suspended amongst the glazed walls is a lattice roof that appears to float over the informal living space below.

"Terrazzo walls and floor to ceiling Douglas fir joinery provides a coherent design aesthetic—these elements are stitched together by a seamless polished concrete floor that is continued throughout the living space and into the garden. The large open plan living arrangement can be subdivided to create a private meeting room through sliding pockets doors. Inspired by the American diner and at the heart of the flexible living space is a banquette for informal dining."

See the full story on Dwell.com: A Glass-Wrapped Extension Brings a Touch of California Modernism to This London Backyard
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