In the affluent area of Chelsea, a London neighbouhood that has in the past counted J.R.R. Tolkien and The Rolling Stones among its illustrious residents, local firm Moxon Architects recently completed a renovation and addition to a mid-century three-storey town home. The property is protected by the government (it’s registered on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest) because of its particularly beautiful terrace (a rarity in central London), and for other original details such as stucco cornices, openwork balustrades and cast-iron spearheaded railings and window guards.
According to the firm’s press release, the goal was to “treat the existing structure as a geometric guide for the setting out of new material and spatial interventions.” By removing internal partitions, the London firm reconfigured the layout, replacing multiple small rooms with larger open-plan living spaces. The addition of a new top floor, plus a rear extension on the lower ground floor that opens onto a rear courtyard, increased the total volume of the house by over 25 per cent to 30 square metres.
The one-and-a-half-storey extension occupies the same footprint of the previous add-on and is clad with clear, white Pilkington Low Iron glass, which allows natural light to flood the lower ground floor. The renovation also includes a lime-finished, English oak staircase that serves multiple purposes. Overlooking the new double-height annex, the stair also functions as a library and is equipped with a retractable writing desk and secret storage compartments. The combination of light wood and clear glass gives new life to this British mid-century dwelling.