Hawthorn House

Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects

Client: Gareth Williams and Richard Sorger

: Vladimir Krastev (Project Architect), George Bradley (Project Director), Optimal Build (Contractor), Symmetrys (Structural Engineer), Quadrant (Building Control)

Designed for two professors in design and fashion, the brief for this conservation area property was to merge the house with the garden and celebrate honest materiality. The existing house had turned its back on the garden with a kitchen that faced inwards and a downstairs toilet blocking the prime garden view.

The new stepped extension has opened the back of the house to blend the green of the garden with the home. The extension sympathetically steps out as far as the neighbours on both sides to ensure the least disruption to the adjacent properties and allowing the house and the garden to interlock. Window openings fold around the corners of the extension, stepping back and forth, framing different views of the garden as you walk into the pink kitchen. The bricks from the rear fa├žade fold down into the garden forming the raised planter as if it has grown naturally out of the house. The planter bounds layered prairie style planting that respond to the angle of the sun and step in height based on proximity to the house. The wildflowers surround a fishpond that sits adjacent to a new window seat. The same bricks blend into the interior to unify inside and outside. In a continuation of unadorned aesthetic, structural steels are kept exposed and celebrated in electric blue. The extension has transformed this home into an urban oasis, with living spaces that wrap around the garden and flow seamlessly between new and old parts of the house.