Lynch Architects

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Mare Street House

A Georgian house, situated on a very busy street near Broadway Market in Hackney, was refurbished to become a family home in 2016. The house is Grade 2 listed, therefore alterations to the original fabric were mostly limited to stripping back modern finishes and making repairs, mainly of windows and fireplaces. The original timber and stone floors, including a stone staircase built by the original owner (a stone merchant who used the adjacent Regent Canal to transport his stone across London) were kept, and their age and patina is celebrated. All walls and built-in joinery - doors, shutters, and skirting boards, etc. - were painted one colour, typical for Georgian rooms. A light-reflecting, pale grey is used throughout most of the house, and special, traditional paint colours were chosen for the children's bedrooms and the family bathroom.

The main design intervention was to create a kitchen at the ground level, where, combined with the dining room, it enjoys a generous room height and benefits from morning and evening sun light, and a view out over the garden. The lower ground floor stone level became the master bedroom, with an en-suite bathroom and dressing room. An internal insulated Tongue and Groove timber wall lining is added to the inner face of the street facade, along with an internal obscured glass window sat inside the existing sash window in the basement, providing visual and aural privacy. The existing 20th century ceiling was removed, revealing historic timber floor joists and creating additional height, along with a strong sense of rhythm and of material richness and texture. The east-facing bedroom enjoys the privacy and tranquillity of the garden.

A new garden was designed and planted with the landscape architect Richard Nye. A timber bike shelter, echoing the rhythms and material qualities and colours of the interior of the old house, is situated at the far end of the garden. It completes the extended territory of the house, turning the back garden into a sort of external room. Photographs courtesy of The Modern House.

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