Sanya Polescuk Architects (SPA) revamped a garden apartment in a large Italianate semi-detached villa in North London to suit a growing family. SPA were recently shortlisted for an NLA ‘Don’t Move, Improve’ Award as a result of their innovation.

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Project Name: Fresh and Green
Architect Name: Sanya Polescuk Architects
Photography: Emanuelis Stasaitis

Fresh and Green by Sanya Polescuk Architects - Sheet2
©Emanuelis Stasaitis

The client wished for an enduring space with a flexible space for extended family visits and generous amounts of dedicated storage. The answer was two-pronged: to remodel and retrofit the original and to expand into the mature garden, adding a true indoor-outdoor living.

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Fresh and Green by Sanya Polescuk Architects - Sheet3
©Emanuelis Stasaitis

Dedicated storage was creatively installed to hide clutter and house building services. While in the open-plan living areas, subtle spatial differences in the floor, wall and ceiling treatments create varied spaces that allow family members to pursue a range of activities within a sociable distance. A light-filled study-off-the-kitchen becomes an optional, sound separated bedroom, as sliding doors spring out of a hidden wall-pockets and a built-in fold-down bed appears from a customized wall of joinery.

Fresh and Green by Sanya Polescuk Architects - Sheet4
©Emanuelis Stasaitis

SPA succeeded in surpassing building regulation requirements. At floor level, the entire flat received hydrated screed over PIR insulation; PIR insulation and aerogel were added to the walls whilst vacuum plus tapered PIR insulation was installed at the extension’s new roof. This ejects stagnant air while heating fresh air coming in, should it be cold outside, so that the home remains at a comfortable temperature while still having good circulation.

Fresh and Green by Sanya Polescuk Architects - Sheet5
©Emanuelis Stasaitis

Serendipitously, the entrance hall revealed a brick barrel vault which created a cohesive theme straight from the front door. To avoid overheating, the south-facing extension is brick and not glass built.

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Glass is used sparingly, only to help let the light in strategically. Slim clerestory windows let beams of light in from under the contradicting weight of the heavy brick ceiling above. Brickwork frames the view of the garden from above and underfoot.

When all three slim-framed glazed doors between the extension and the garden slide away and stack up externally, the red brick floor leads, in an effortless transition, from indoor to outdoor.

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Rethinking The Future Awards 2022