The art of the London extension refined in this sleek modernist addition


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All too often, the typical ‘London extension’ feels like it has been bolted on in an entirely different style; when it comes to adding volume to a period home, there’s a balance to be struck between scale and sensibility. 

View from inside modernist London extension looking out to garden

(Image credit: Gianluca Maver)

The London extension of a West Dulwich home

When it came to devising the scope of a much-wanted addition to a family house in West Dulwich, Francesco Pierazzi Architects dived into the archives. By studying old maps – and in particular the detailed records of Second World War bomb damage – the architects discovered that the house once had a larger ground floor. As a result, planning permission wasn’t required as the new extension fell within the UK’s permitted development rules.

Skylight illuminates kitchen of modernist London extension

(Image credit: Gianluca Maver)

The result is a brick, steel and glass pavilion that celebrates its materiality and pushes itself to the dimensional limits allowed by the planning law. The designers have made a virtue of the horizontal and vertical structural elements – as seen most prominently on the rear façade and in the kitchen – to mark the division between the old and the new volumes.

Yellow-walled WC space

(Image credit: Gianluca Maver)

Throughout the space, these structural steels are emphasised and prominently placed, with a rich oxblood paint finish that pairs well with the natural brickwork, both old and new. Internal finishes alternate between bright white and bold colours, creating a backdrop for an eclectic mix of contemporary furniture. Views through the house to the large rear garden are assisted by a wooden main staircase with glazed risers.

Hallway and stairs in modernist London extension

(Image credit: Gi…

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