Patalab were commissioned to transform a detached Arts and Crafts townhouse in Hampstead for a local family with three small children. The brief was to create an airier, lighter and more contemporary feel for the young family’s home and their modern art collection. It was also important to increase the overall floor area.
We opted for an approach that expands the house horizontally thus making most of the spacious garden that surrounds the building. Many of the original features inside the house were retained, such as the central staircase and timber wall paneling but these were treated with white paint wash to achieve a less oppressive and more spacious appearance.
A key element in Patalab’s design for Heath House is the new connection between reception rooms on the ground floor and the back garden. The living spaces include a new-build wing and reconfigured kitchen with a dining area that opens up to the garden establishing an inside-outside relationship not previously present in the house. This has been a critical factor in giving the remodeled home a feeling of openness and fluidity in keeping with the client’s desire for a less formal ambience. It also provides a generous backdrop to display the family’s art collection.
The garden wing is a long gallery-like space with a sunken seating area. It, too, has been designed to house works of art as well as entertain. Externally, the wing is clad in hand-made Danish ‘Petersen’ bricks subtly distinct from the red London stock bricks of the main house. The proportions and bond of the Danish bricks (only the horizontal joints are raked: the vertical joints are flush) emphasise the horizontality of the architecture.
Internally, the extension features an in-situ cast fair-faced concrete wall to add texture to the minimal white walls. The stepped bush hammered textured limestone approach from the wing to the garden extends the room outdoors and makes the most of variations in the topography of the site.
The main house has been completely refurbished with internal layouts re-designed to provide more space and to reduce compartmentalisation. The top floor features a loft space with two extra bedrooms as well as storage. This addition means that the central stairwell is a now a triple height space; its large skylight illuminating the entrance hall.
Warm toned flooring was selected throughout: distressed parquet in combination with mottled Azul Cascais limestone to the ground floor, and smoked oak above. New bathrooms on the upper floors include large format book-matched Carrara marble (ca. 1.50m x 1.25m slabs) to the master en suite. The family bathrooms have more playful geometric tiles in different colours.