Swiss Cottage House

Studio Carver

Swiss Cottage House is a major refurbishment and reconfiguration of a mid-century terraced property in north London. Our clients approached us in need of a substantially larger property to accommodate their family of five and growing three teenage daughters.

Our solution was adding a new second floor level and basement, sandwiching the existing ground and first floors of the property. The existing house’s internal spaces were dark and circulation warren-like. The challenge was how to add a substantial amount of new floor area whilst not creating further enclosure. The design solution was the introduction of floor voids, lightwells and generous circulation throughout the property. The house footprint was cut in half with a new stair connecting all levels inserted at its centre. A delicate metal and terrazzo stair folds and winds its way down from the second floor to the basement level. A large retractable skylight aligns with the stair below and a generous ‘eye’ to the stair ensures that ample light from above finds its way into the basement below. Two additional lightwells ensure all the habitable rooms in the basement are light and bright. This unassuming, two-story terrace has been transformed into a generous, four-story, bright and light home that exceeds the needs of a growing family. When you enter the new house from the street you are immediately shocked by the volume, light and spaciousness, all hidden behind the uniform mid-century façade. Peeling back that façade reveals something truly unique, surprising, and delightful.