Manber Jeffries House is a pleasingly intricate extension to the ground floor apartment of a semi-detached Victorian house in Willesden Green, north-west London.
The single-storey building is annexed to the rear of the existing building to allow for the adaptation of the new kitchen and dining room. The articulated roof geometry conforms to the functional needs of the interior spaces in order to manage the difference in elevation between the more elevated historic building and the new one.
The intervention, with a strong conservative sensitivity towards the place, recovers the memory of the traditional auxiliary buildings located in the gardens of Victorian houses and in this case of the two outbuildings with pitched roof, originally adjacent to the brick wall, heavily degraded and then demolished, taken as a source of inspiration in the use of a language of simplicity and functionality.
The budget constraints have required an extreme rigor in the conscious use of standardized, straightforward and durable building components: a structural steel frame supports a shell covered with terracotta both in the facades and in the roofs, in order to create a figurative continuity with the surrounding area characterized mainly by brick artifacts. The windows are placed freely and without any compositional rigidity in the facade, opening perspectives on the lovely garden where it is spontaneous to think of stopping for a tea.
The interiors are simple and essential, with exposed concrete and ceramic finishes and wooden furnishings that give the environment an aura deliberately a bit dim but warm and welcoming.
- Manber Jeffries House
- Architectural project:
- James Alder Architects
- Structural engineer:
- Alex Mark
- Main contractor:
- London Expert Builders Ltd
- Willesden Green, London