Lawford Road
by OEB Architects

Lawford Road consists of a minimal, intelligent and highly insulated refurbishment and extension of a townhouse in North London, to meet the low-energy Passivhaus EnerPHit standard.

The Passivhaus standard required an entirely new insulated timber frame to be built inside the existing brick shell.

OEB Architects took the opportunity given by this new structure to reconfigure the internal layout.

Rooms are defined by a series of 900mm deep storage walls placed orthogonally across the plan, while plain white surfaces line the interior.

The storage walls give a sense of solidity to the new construction, and contain all the built-in functions of the house.

Kitchen, WCs, desk, and plant.

When opened up, the interiors of these elements reveal warm plywood timber finishes and exposed services accentuated in bright colours.

“The use of a single system of modular plywood components throughout the house will allow us to adapt it as our needs change, key to the long term sustainability of the building” the client recounts.

Contrasting with the outer plainness of the rooms.

Solid oak flooring is used throughout and continues onto the new staircase with flush treads and risers, where a lightly reflective white ribbon balustrade runs continuously up through the full height of the house.

The new second floor study is located in a simple and rectilinear zinc rooftop extension over the rear outrigger, sensitive to the site’s location within a Conservation Area.

Here the plywood structure remains exposed, as if this space is a habitable version of the storage elements elsewhere, or like climbing into an attic.

The joints between the components are not hidden. Simple and adjustable open shelving spans between the plywood posts, where objects and books can be on show.

The room is clearly made from different parts connected together with exposed screws, notches and lap joints.

“As an engineer, though, my favourite aspect is how it’s possible to see through the white skin of the building, into its wooden structure and colour coded services, simply by opening a cupboard door or entering the study” the client looks forward to seeing how the building works with them in the coming years.

Location Kentish Town, London, United Kingdom
Client Private
Surface 240 sqm
Year 2019
Cost £ 800 000
Collaborators Bow Tie Construction (Main Contractor), Bob Johnson
Structural Engineers (Structural Engineer), CANDO (Passivhaus Designer),
BCA (Approved Inspector), Calculated Manufacturing (Plywood study),
Harbour Joinery Workshop and Thomas Collier Joinery (Joinery), Sky-frame,
Cantifix, Green Building Store & OM Glazing (Glazing), Shadbolt (Internal doors),
Dinesen (Flooring), Client and Future Ready Homes (KNX Smart home)
Photography French+Tye

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