Quatrefoil House

Hyde + Hyde Architects

: Contractor company: G Dighton & Sons | Structural engineer: Mann Williams | M&E engineer: Ridge and Partners | Quantity surveyors: Ridge and Partners | Planning consultants: Kemp & Kemp | Energy consultants: Melin Energy Consultants | Arboriculture surveyors: Lockhart Garratt | Site surveyors: MK Surveys | Landscape architect: Angus Thompson Design

Quatrefoil House sees the refurbishment and extension of an early Gothic Revival home in the heart of the North Oxford Victorian Suburb Conservation Area. The brief was to create a contextualised and contemporary 5-bedroom property, remodelling the existing building to create a comfortable home with a lower-level entertaining space feeding into a secluded garden.

With the restoration of the original 1870s house prioritised due to its poor condition, the home’s ability to engage with history while celebrating the present was central to the project. Hyde + Hyde’s thoughtful approach to proportion and the relationship between solid and void emerges throughout the design, most prominently in the way in which the solidity of the existing townhouse and its brickwork contrasts with the lightweight, glazed extension, which is supported by a singular concrete column. Borrowing its form from an inverted Gothic window, this contributes to a carefully-composed collage of references to local context. The refined structure is complemented by the design’s exploration and celebration of ornament. Inspired by the architectural language of the existing property and Oxford’s historic townscape - including St Mary Magdalen Church – quatrefoil tectonic tiles in bronze and steel feature externally, resulting in a striking façade motif. Inside, the central staircase is just one example of the project’s impressive bespoke joinery, linking the 4 storeys and introducing light deep into the floorplan. To the property’s rear, the kitchen-dining space pushes out of the existing footprint to create a more connected sense of living with a triple-height, open-plan ground floor.