The 2017 programme is now past. We will be launching the 2018 programme on 21st August.
Picture Frame House
Archer & Braun
10 Dunelm Street, E1 0QQ
Picture Frame House is a Ground floor extension and full internal refurbishment of a terraced house in the Albert Gardens Conservation Area of Stepney Green, (East London).
Archer & Braun ,
History & Background
The property dates back to the 19th century, and is located in area is predominately residential and characterised by its Victorian past. Most of the residential properties were part of a development known as Mercer’s Estate, which were mostly completed by 1828. The area’s history is is reflected in its layout, density, materiality and architectural details, all of which contribute a sense of unity.
The house had not been updated since the 1970’s and required modernisation.The owners lived in the property for 2 years before starting any work, allowing them to explore how the property was used and how it could best be improved.
The project's aim was to redefine the main living spaces so that they were more suited to modern life - generous spaces that maximised exposure to natural light. The kitchen and dining room were cramped and dark, and there was no connection to the garden. However, the client did not desire a completely open-plan layout, in which spaces can lack definition and as a result feel smaller.
Through exploring alternatives to an open plan space by deliberately retaining certain walls and punching holes (‘picture frames’), it allowed key spaces to be defined whilst providing opportunity for unexpected interactions to naturally occur.
Although the building has only been extended by an additional 10sqm, the impact has been significant. The previously unused dining room now has a view into the kitchen and garden beyond and is flooded with natural daylight throughout the day as a result of a large roof light, and the flexible kitchen layout includes ample storage and can be used in a variety of different ways.
Materiality & Details
The project includes American black walnut picture frames, a bespoke oak tray frame mirror, feature Carrara marble elements including book matched mitred marble shower wall and kitchen worktop, flush tiled mosaics and bespoke kitchen and bedroom joinery. However, the client chose to spend money only on key items, and the kitchen units were sourced from Ikea, with door fronts and handles replaced by Superfront, which is an affordable way to upscale a kitchen.