30 June 2021

New Case Study: Two and a Half Storey House

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The Two and a Half Storey House is a masterwork of three-dimensional imagination in timber and an ingenious solution to a common problem: how to create an extra bedroom in a two-storey terrace house. In the case of the conventional terrace house with a double-pitched roof, a loft extension would have been the obvious answer, but this was not a conventional terrace but part of a two-storey two-bedroom 70s terrace in a former council housing estate in Stoke Newington, London.


The front brick wall rises above the first floor where it is clad with vertical tile-hanging and supports a mono-pitched tiled roof sloping down to the rear wall. The local planners would not permit any loft extension which rose above the highest point of this existing roof and the owners had already received two planning refusals for proposals for a single-storey loft extension which exceeded this height.


The owners, a couple with a young child and a second baby on the way, needed more space but were unable to afford a three-bedroom house in the same area. They asked the practice Bradley Van Der Straeten to investigate what could be done to fit another bedroom within these restrictions.


The architect approached the design as an interlocking jigsaw, as George Bradley explains: ‘We knew the half height of the loft was fixed so the design was all about creating two interlocking floor levels in the space of one and half floors. We may have given less footprint but we created more volume and an additional bedroom by using it creatively. The whole design of the project hinged on using the ceiling of the bedroom below as a bed platform for the bedroom above, which is spacious and light due to effective use of roof windows. Integrating the bedframe into the fabric of the design allowed space to be freed up for other things such as the communal circulation spaces.’


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