The client brief was motivated by an intention to evolve and improve a loved home for a maturing family. The focus of the design is on maximising and utilising the existing space to the current requirement of the family. Whilst practicality exists at the core of this project, it has been delivered with thoughtful detailing, using contemporary materials and techniques.

Project Name: Corten House
Studio Name:
Paul Archer Design
Completion date: 2018
Building levels: 4
Location: London, United Kingdom
Photography: Andy Stagg

Corten House by Paul Archer Design - Sheet1
Kitchen+Dining ©Andy Stagg

The ground floor was designed with flexibility in mind – fulfilling the client’s brief for socially focused open plan living with the capacity for quiet closed off moments. What appears to be one large open plan space with front and rear aspect can be closed off into three separate rooms so the family can read, practice and socialise in company or solitude.

The back of the property has been extended to the rear and side, with a long glazed roof light along the side return bringing much needed light into the middle of the building. The kitchen sits close to the original house, with a large central island enabling the client the room to indulge their love of cooking, with space for friends to sit at the counter. Close to the garden there is a dining area and sitting area.

Corten House by Paul Archer Design - Sheet2
Bedroom ©Andy Stagg

Throughout the house, storage has been intentionally and carefully designed, with joinery doors artfully sliding away into pockets to reveal work areas, closets and bathrooms.
Terrazzo flooring runs through a large opening with lightweight aluminium framed bi-fold doors to the garden. The garden has been designed in conjunction with the house, with built in seating area and raised planters created.

On the first floor, the master suite, with access to a rear roof terrace, has been reconfigured and extended to create space for a bathroom and walk in closet. A verdant green velvet curtain, running on a concealed curtain track provides warmth and enhances the connection to the outside. To the front of the house, there is a simple, bright room for piano practice, and a large high ceilinged bedroom with en-suite, with restored fireplace and bay window.

Corten House by Paul Archer Design - Sheet3
Rooftop Seating ©Andy Stagg

A loft dormer extension has been added, creating an additional bedroom, with a large window overlooking the garden and catching the evening light. Above the stairs a large roof light has been added, pulling light down to the previously dark stairway. On the rear elevation, Corten steel has been used in various iterations and rotations

Meticulously detailed, the new ground floor openings are framed by a posted steel structure, with a finned horizontal shutter, and clad planters facing the house. Vertical steel fins are used to create a balustrade on the first floor terrace, with a steel planter, shutter and cladding to the dormer extension tying the levels together. The focus is placed on high quality materials and finishes, carefully detailed, with the palette kept natural and consistent throughout the house; enhancing the connection between the spaces.

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