The house was in a run down state and required considerable repair. Remodeled, it accommodates a family of five. Interconnectivity of spaces was important to the family, as was solidity and richness of materials and opening up to natural light.
Creating a feeling of space and height was essential to the clients. They also did not want the kitchen tucked away and out of sight. The clients’ were keen to explore sustainable energy saving measures where possible. The feeling of being outdoors was an important factor in the choice of materials.
The ground floor was transformed into a single open plan space linking lounge, kitchen, dining and garden. The kitchen is at the heart of the home, allowing the family to interact across the space. The floor and ceiling levels vary, altering scale and proportion within the main volume.
Large skylights the over the kitchen and dining spaces bring light into the heart of the home, allowing for a connection with the outside environment, important to the family. The simple palette of materials creates a sense of calm solidity – polished concrete linking inside and out, with timber walls providing warmth.
We improved the thermal performance of the envelope by overcladding the existing brick render with a high-performance insulated render, and installing double-glazed windows: traditional sash and aluminium (on the modern extension).
The polished concrete floors have underfloor heating pipes below –taking advantage of the embodied thermal mass within the polished concrete slab, which stores heat for long periods decreasing the amount of energy used to heat the spaces. South-facing skylights bring natural light indoors reducing reliance on artificial lighting. The folded geometrical planes are an important feature of the space and allow daylight to enter deep into the house.
The ground floor is broken into “served and servant” spaces. Kitchen utility spaces fridge, freezer, pantry, laundry, guest toilet – are hidden neatly behind an iroko slatted wall giving the public spaces of the home a greater hierarchy. All the joinery in the house is bespoke designed; the Western Red Cedar shutters outside the bathroom are designed for privacy and can be rotated and opened to access the skylights for cleaning.
Neil Dusheiko was born in 1970 in South Africa. He studied architecture at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and graduated in 1994. He has practiced architecture in Johannesburg, Sydney and London. Neil set up his own studio in Clerkenwell in 2011.
Practice Profile: Neil Dusheiko Architects is an established architectural design studio based in Clerkenwell, London. Neil Dusheiko set up the company in 2009 after working for a series of respected practices in Sydney and London. The practice has built a range of private commissions, including the award winning Timber Fin House, a houseboat on the Thames and a contemporary renovation of a terrace house in Islington. Our work has been featured in Grand Designs and exhibited at the Royal Academy. The practice works with challenging briefs and solves complex problems through rational and clear design solutions. We believe that good design will make the world a better place and enrich people’s lives.Location: 62 Alexander Road, London N19 3PQ, UK
Architects: Neil Dusheiko Architects
Project Name: Islington House
Client: Natasha Cox and Damien McInerny
Engineer: Momentum / Richard Heath
Contractor: RK Construction / Robert Kierstzyn
Area: 137 sqm
Completion Date: July 2013
Photographer: Dennis Gilbert, Neil Dusheiko