Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Elm Court in North London, Greater London by AR Design Studio
September 1st, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: AR Design Studio
AR Design Studio transforms dark north London house with light, open modern extension AR Design Studio, an award-winning RIBA certified contemporary architectural practice based in Winchester, Hampshire, recently completed a highly innovative single-storey modern extension to a 3-bedroom house in North London. The finished property, Elm Court, retains its humble street appearance, yet is completely transformed from its previous gloomy atmosphere, with the new modern extension creating a light, airy and open living environment.
The recently retired owners sought to adapt the existing small and cramped property into their perfect home. The brief was to design a single storey contemporary extension at the rear of the existing property, linking in with the original, whilst making minimal physical changes. The open-plan extension was to comprise of a new kitchen, dining/living space, utility room, cinema room, WC and office area; with the aim to bring views of the garden and more light into the property.
“At AR Design Studio we are particularly interested in the relationships between inside and outside spaces, between the man-made and nature,” states lead architect Mike Ford. “The owners could see the potential to completely revive the feel and functionality of this home using the tight site as the parameter for an interesting design approach. The result completely transforms the feel and atmosphere of the existing property.”
The architectural concept is rooted in uniting the house with the garden and positively affecting the interior feel of the original property, whilst making minimal physical changes. The solution was to have a wall running through the entire home. This physical wall acts as an axis of movement, guiding you through the house, from old to new. It also draws the eye through the space and out to the garden providing a physical inside/outside link. The wall breaks down as it dissects the contemporary extension, defining smaller, more intimate spaces, whilst still retaining the feeling of togetherness evident in open-plan living. (link to another property in portfolio with open plan living)
As the wall reaches into the garden it projects through the large glazed doors, which can be opened completely. These allow sunlight to flood through the open-plan space and filter down gradually into the original property, creating beautiful shards of light. A flush threshold allows the tiled floor finish of the interior to continue out onto the patio, creating a seamless link between inside and outside.
The entire contemporary extension is highly insulated to improve the sustainability credentials of the house. In addition, an efficient fireplace is located centrally to the space for localised heating, with under floor heating running throughout the ground floor. This provides a comfortable and efficient environment to live in. Elm Court is now a perfectly balanced modern working home, bursting with traditional values, contemporary style and innovative design, all within a very modest sized property.
AR Design Studio’s Director Andy Ramus is a 41 year old Architect, born in London and trained at Plymouth School of Architecture under the eminent Professor Adrian Gale. In 2000 he completed his education at the AA in London.
In 2001, after 5 years working in London, he established his own practice and is now based in Hampshire. AR Design Studio is a RIBA chartered architectural practice based in Winchester, Hampshire, specialising in the delivery of elegant and imaginative contemporary architectural solutions.
With a comprehensive knowledge of planning, AR Design Studio has built a stunning portfolio of completed residential projects from existing home extensions and re-modelling to new-builds and multi-plot developments. It is also a specialist designer of waterfront homes with a deep understanding of how to fully experience the light, sound and atmosphere water creates.
The studio’s design philosophy is to understand the client’s needs and requirements through listening, interpreting and translating the design brief into clear objectives. We aim to offer an innovative design approach that exceeds expectations, yet remain achievable. We avoid a prescriptive style of architecture, rather taking inspiration from the client and the site. However, our work is always characterised by a clean, contemporary, and eco-friendly approach.
AR Design Studio’s architectural expertise and flair has been continuously recognised by winning a number of prestigious industry awards such as the RIBA Downland Award 2012, the Fareham Society Design Award 2012, the Federation of Master Builders Regional Award 2012, the Best of Houzz Award 2013, the Daily Telegraph Small House of the Year Award 2008. Also, they were a runner-up and shortlisted for the RICS South-East Residential Awards 2013, and shortlisted for the RIBA Downland Award 2010 and the Young Architect of the Year Award 2011.
AR Design Studio are also catching the eye of the national media and have been featured on ITV’s Meridian Tonight and featured in the Mail on Sunday, Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, Hello and Grand Design magazines.
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