Wiggly Wall House

Works are underway on our Grade II Listed semi-detached villa in Canonbury.

As a practice based in Islington, this is one of several Grade II listed projects we are working on in the area.

The project involves a substantial refurbishment of an existing Georgian property as well as a modern new build extension that replaces a dilapidated structure that was built alongside it.

Close consideration to the Conservation Area, the Local Authority and to the neighbours meant limitations to any external ‘public realm’ changes. This posed a significant design challenge for us to sympathetically alter and update it.

As a practice, we value our role as custodians of an asset of this age and wanted to ensure that alterations to the main part of the property would not be harmful to its fabric or its listing. We undertook extensive Heritage consultation and design developments to minimise the effect on the historic property.

The result provides a clearly contemporary design at the garden side and a traditional front elevation of a high-quality finish. In the interior, the plans were altered to provide rooms including dining, kitchen, and bathrooms suited to the needs of the family.

The focal point of the project is the dining room which forms the main link between the existing house, the contemporary extension, and the garden. It is from this space that we derive the inspiration for the pleated roof that undulates between it (the dining room) and the kitchen, expressing the hipped and the pitched roof formation of each room respectively. The parquet pattern of the flooring wiggles out of this room into the kitchen and out onto the terrace at the side and rear of the house; tying the new and the old together. Echoes of the folds can further be found in the sawtooth bricks, the expression of the faceted seating at the rear, the lighting and other fixtures and fittings in the house.

The finished scheme will provide a contemporary feel, balancing and responding to ideas around living in a historic building with a 21st century outlook.