In-Out House Islington

How did the project come together?

Uncover the story behind this open plan project

Stage 1:

Preparing the concept design

This Victorian terraced villa in a North London conservation area had at one stage been split into maisonettes, resulting in a warren of spaces at entrance and garden levels.

The brief from our clients; enthusiastic chefs, gardeners and hosts was to open up the house to maximize use of the hidden spaces, rationalize the duplicated functions and convoluted staircases from it’s days as a split residence and, most importantly to enhance the connection to the striking back garden wherever possible.

The house does not give anything away from the street, but the dynamic relationship between in & out reveals itself instantly upon arrival, where frameless glazing directly ahead drops away to the garden level, providing a double height view into green space. The continuity of the reclaimed brick wall from entry level descending the stairs and out into the garden accentuates the length of the space, and draws the visitor down into the heart of the home, the kitchen. Skylights in the terrace above the kitchen direct light deep into the space, and sliding glazed doors to the garden are strategically inflected at an angle in plan to provide a vista towards sunset over the garden from the chef’s workspace.

The upper ground floor level was opened up into one space which doubles as spacious living room and functional entertainment space for which the staircase connecting the floors provides a centerpiece. A fully glazed box to the rear of the room leads out onto a generous terrace, and offer the residents shelter from the British weather whilst effectively sitting outdoors with a view of the sky and their garden around them.

Utilitarian, robust, post-industrial & minimal aesthetic.


Status: Completed

Date of Completion : 17th September 2015

Type: Single-family residence

Stage 2:

Defining the layout

Milk Architecture & Design were the structural engineer used within this project, they offered a great service to form the bones of the property, the layout and frame.

Phillip Banks Design and Build were the project managers enlisted for this project, they were responsible for the construction process from estimating, project management, administration and right through to the physical works on site, the offered excellence of service, fast contract period and a competitive price.

Stage 3:

Building Control Sign off

FES were enlisted to help with the cost planning and as the quantity surveyors for the project, they would have been responsible for organising the materials required for the project.

A fire suppression system was a requirement due to the open staircase and Assent Building Control were responsible for informing us of this requirement and detailing the safety needs to meet building control requirements.

Stage 4:

Transformation Complete

Due to the open plan layout for the kitchen and entertaining area, along with the feature staircase, a fire suppression system was a necessity in order to implement the open design in this home. Automist blended seamlessly into interior and added the safety and peace of mind that in the event of a fire, evacuation could be made safely.

Plans & Layouts

After image

Open plan kitchen with bright and airy open staircase

Robert Dye Architects

  • Architects
  • London

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