This intervention at the rear of a home in Dollis Hill in London by O’Sullivan Skoufoglou Architects replaced a 1970’s extension that divided the space into separate kitchen and dining rooms and allowed little connection to the garden.

The client’s brief called for more light, more space with ample storage. All this needed to be achieved without reducing the garden area.

The response of the re-structured room places emphasis on the connection with the garden with the dining area. Incorporated into the façade are deep vertical oak fins resting on a brick plinth, whose rhythm provides direct views out while offering side-on visual privacy.

Internally, oak beams and ash-veneered plywood storage walls sitting on either side provide a sense of enclosure. A bench seat and a solid-ash bespoke table complete the dining area. The built-in kitchen furniture utilises the same language, intentionally reducing the palette of materials to a minimum in order to keep the space simple, yet warm and characterful.

Oak and ash are considered sacred in Irish mythology and were used symbolically with the owner’s roots in mind. All timber elements, including the façade, were fabricated and pre-assembled in a workshop by a father and son team prior to being put together on site.

Close collaboration and open dialogue between maker and architect during fabrication was key to the realisation of this project. The modules’ joints had to be designed in such a way that took into account that they would have to be transported. The off-site fabrication resulted in a quick and cost-effective site-build.

 

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[Photography by Rory Gardiner.]

 

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