Clapton House

2012-2019

Private client

1/9

This project creates a private retreat in the heart of one of London’s most vibrant east end neighbourhoods.

Here we have transformed the rear section of an early Victorian house and extended it into an adjoining end of terrace yard. The scheme creates a hybrid of the terraced house and courtyard house typologies, arranging a three-bedroom house across two volumes around a central courtyard. 

Solid brick buildings are notoriously damp and cold, consume vast amounts of energy to keep warm and require chemical injections and antifungal paint to ward off mould. This is in large part due to the change from radiant to convection heat; from wood and coal burning stoves of the period to gas boilers and convection radiators, and from breathable materials to plastics and cement which lock out moisture.

To return to radiant heat we have installed a new insulated slab with hot water heating pipes. To improve the retention of heat we have added thick layers of sheep’s wool insulation to the roof. We have also stripped all the cement plaster and gypsum board out of the building and limewashed the exposed brickwork. The in-floor heating provides slow and stable radiant heat while the lime allows the bricks to breathe and release moisture.

Solid European oak is used for floors, staircase and joinery along with birch plywood for the kitchen and wardrobes. Board marked concrete skirting boards provide thermal mass around the central woodstove and offer a mediating texture between the polished floor and the limewashed bricks.

The third phase which received planning permission in 2019, creates a new 3 storey building over basement and 2 upper floors which will function as the main dwelling of the final scheme.