Dartmouth Park House
The Dartmouth Park House is an adaptation of the London Victorian terrace typology which makes up a large part of London’s residential fabric. The design attempts to reconnect the original building with key environmental and material aspects of its surrounding context, while engaging with the client’s contemporary needs and their wish to create a personal and exotic retreat. The outcome is a unique collaboration between architect and client.
The existing building, located at the end of a parade of shops in the Dartmouth Park Conservation Area, had previously been poorly sub-divided and overdeveloped, completely filling in the rear garden with an office space.
The brief started as a modest intervention to assist the conversion of the original building into a single family home and grew into an ambitious redevelopment for the entire building.
A process of opening up the building vertically and horizontally formed a series of new spaces where context; daylight, views and outdoor living play a central role. Each indoor space acquired a new relationship to the exterior, whether physically or through daylight and views.
The house hinges around a new courtyard space at ground level, which works as a protected outdoor room extending living activities. An upper level terrace, linked by a new half-landing to the internal stair, wraps around this courtyard to offer long views over neighbouring back gardens to the west.
A three-story void interconnects the house vertically and joins the street to the rear, visually linking the entrance with the terrace and gardens beyond. A delicately crafted steel-frame and timber-clad staircase occupies the void to theatrically animate the interior on all levels.
The envelope of the rear extension is comprised of structural hardwood, pre-fabricated and partly pre-assembled prior to delivery. A consistent timber finish defines both extracted and extended spaces, giving a unifying character to the internal and external areas of the house.
The environmental strategy was to open up and glaze areas with southwestern orientation and thus achieve good levels of daylight deep into the building interior, taking advantage of passive solar heat gain in the winter and utilising natural cross-ventilation. Demolished brick was re-used for structural and non-structural purposes and a reclaimed oak parquet floor forms the finish on the ground floor.