This unusual London home, made up of hexagonal spaces, has been extended with a sympathetic copper façade. 

rees architects bethnal green ashington house - extensions - grand designs

Image: Chris Snook

In the 1960s, when low-cost high- density housing was all the rage, the late architect Noel Moffett came up with Ashington House in Bethnal Green, London, a brutalist six-storey block based on the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. 

Homes constructed from hexagonal units were the signature of Moffett, however, Greater London Council rejected his original plans for Ashington House which was to be made entirely of stacked hexagons. Instead, Moffett produced an asymmetrical design of quadrangles with varied floor levels, concrete buttresses and covered staircases staggered throughout. 

rees architects bethnal green ashington house - extensions - grand designs 

Image: Chris Snook

Part of the development included two homes at street level for disabled tenants, one of which has been extended by Rees Architects, both on the ground floor and by adding a third hexagon to the second storey in the form of a copper cube which has an umber hue to fit in with the tone of surrounding dark brown brickwork.

rees architects bethnal green ashington house - living space - extensions - grand designs 

Image: Chris Snook

‘Our goal for the design was to complement the surroundings of the building and not be too outlandish,’ explains Rees Architects, ‘but at the same time enhance both the building and the neighbourhood.’ The challenge of creating something that maintains the home’s privacy, while also offering something of architectural interest for passersby. 

 kitchen in ashington house by rees architects - extensions - grand designs

Image: Chris Snook

Inside, the hexagonal angles define every room - each interacting in a unique way with the angled walls and finding its own form within the unusual walls. From the upstairs and downstairs hallways, you can glimpse into different rooms, each with its own kaleidoscopic corners. 


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