A Victorian home in Hackney, East London has been expanded with a bespoke extension that provides a new bedroom and dining area with a section of the brickwork ‘removed’ to incorporate a glass frontage onto the garden. This new addition blends seamlessly into its surrounding context through innovative design and construction techniques. The former four-bedroom house had been outgrown by the family but rather than look for a new home, the owners decided to radically alter their existing property. Architects Cousins & Cousins took the brief for an extra bedroom and extended it to create an entirely new space that would enhance how the family interacts with one another.
The new bedroom has been added on the second floor and the ground floor kitchen and dining area have been combined to form a single open-plan space. A large frameless window has been incorporated at the lower level, which creates a focal point for the house and blurs the boundaries between the interior and exterior. The extension cleverly reuses many elements from the original framework of the home: bricks from the demolition process have been retained and used in the new build; bathroom windows have been relocated to the bedroom; and even the kitchen cupboards have been incorporated into the new dining/kitchen area. The architects have also stayed true to the history of East London as homes in this area were traditionally built using local materials and this is the natural continuation of that.
Nicknamed the Vegetarian Cottage, this elegant extension is proof of how contemporary architecture and London’s historic housing fabric can work in harmony. Cousins & Cousins have used their experience of working in sensitive conservation areas to create a beautiful and sensitive piece of architecture.