Studio McW was founded by David McGahon and Greg Walton. The practice operates across London and the UK, with a young talented team, working on a diverse typology of sectors including high-end private residential and mixed-use schemes. The practice projects are characterized by unexpected and surprising architectural details, with the use of natural materials that portray an element of craft.
The existing property was a typical Edwardian residential villa; wider and deeper, with fewer rooms and bigger hallways than the preceding Victorian housing type. The clients loved the proportions of the house, as well as the large front and rear gardens that bookended the house. Their desire was to celebrate the proportions, as well as encourage views and access to the rear garden.
The original concept design created a central axis through the ground floor, improving the visual connection through the property. On entering through the front door, the user is drawn physically and visually to the rear garden.
The original concept design created a central axis through the ground floor, improving the visual connection through the property. On entering through the front door, the user is drawn physically and visually to the rear garden. The axial hallway through the house is strengthened by being designed as a double-loaded corridor of served and servant spaces. To the right-hand side, there is a washroom, utility, cloakroom, plant room, and a generous hallway with a bespoke, but discreet staircase. On the left are the formal living room, dining room, kitchen, and family room
The proportions of the thresholds and openings of the existing Edwardian terrace off the main corridor were emphasized by being made wider, taller, and deeper with joinery lined in oak. The in-between spaces were an important aspect of design and a way to celebrate the original Edwardian openings. By embedding the joinery storage into the architecture of the home and lining the transition spaces, it refelcts the efficiency and integrity that the original Edwardian designs became known for.
An extreme reduction in the palette of materials heightens the simplicity of the design and celebrates the raw, natural properties that were used; oak paneling, board-marked concrete, and pale grey bricks. Based on the natural, robust materials; the main goal was to create a calming, informal atmosphere.
A visually heavy in-situ cast concrete column acts as an anchor for the axis and the center of the rear facade. On either side of the column, the extension can be read as two volumes, both built in pale grey brick with pale grey mortar to give a monolithic appearance to contrast the existing property. Subtle detailing, such as turning the brick on edge, references the height of the internal oak exposed ceiling joists. The sawn timber shuttering used to texture the concrete façade matches the height of the pale brick, along with the concrete sills and coping.
Carefully considered internal detailing also emphasizes the simplicity of design and provides a consistent architectural language throughout the house. The thresholds between rooms align with the skylights overhead, the exposed joists as well as the joinery below. While the external windows and openings align on either side of the property. This rich detailing alongside functional layouts, simple volumetric composition, and rough, tactile poetry of the material selection provides an experience of great calm, comfort, and practicality.