This small but perfectly formed office extension in London has an instant connection with the outdoors.
When asked to redesign the lower-ground floor of a maisonette, MW Architects received an interesting brief. The owner, a writer who works from home, wanted to extend an existing study area to create a larger room that felt linked to the garden, as well as adding a walk-in shower to serve the two bedrooms on this level. The shower needed to be designed in such a way that it created the feeling of showeringoutside. ‘It’s certainly not a typical combination of spaces,’ says Matthew Wood of MW Architects (020 7407 6767; mwarchitects.co.uk).
The home office was extended by two metres. A large fixed roof light and a glazed door fill the room with natural light, while a new corner window and a reclaimed oak desk allow the owner to feel immersed in nature when she is working. ‘The cantilevered corner window plays a significant role in the success of this project,’ says Wood. ‘It broadens your field of vision and creates a much greater connection with the garden.’
Projecting just 60cm from the original space, the new shower has a three-sided, full-height frameless glass corner and roof, which create the feeling of being outside. ‘The glass is positioned in such a way as to ensure complete privacy from the surrounding properties,’ says Wood. A cleverly designed ventilation door opens to provide fresh air, blending into the external cladding when shut.
Internal surfaces were chosen to celebrate the texture of the materials, with a combination of brick, concrete and steel that Wood says gives ‘a strong sense of permanence’. The new wall in the home o ce is built from reclaimed London stock bricks, visually linking the extension to the original house. In contrast, the shower area is formed from in-situ cast concrete, with a textured, tiled pebble floor and an etched glass door.
Inspired by the vernacular of garden buildings and sheds, the external black-stained timber emphasises the natural look and feel of this beautifully designed addition.
Words: Beth Murton, Photography: French+Tye