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Residential, 2023, London


French + Tye

Ray House, a Victorian house in a conservation area in Dalston, Hackney, for a creative couple working in the fields of graphic design and illustration. The project has transformed the house from a poorly insulated, single-glazed and gas central heated property with an irrational compartmentalised plan, into a thermally efficient, all-electric, hi-tech, contemporary home with abundant daylight now reaching deep into the house. 

The rear elevation is defined by a two-storey yellow brick column with frameless windows, accommodating an additional single room on the ground and first floors and a lateral extension on the lower ground floor. The lower ground extension introduces generous sliding glazed doors onto the garden and is characterised by its ornamentation: decorative concrete tiles cut with a pattern which takes inspiration from the Victorian plasterwork on the street elevation. The bespoke pattern was designed by the client and house owner, Leona Clarke, working closely with Archmongers to fabricate and install it. 

The new layout relocates the kitchen to the upper ground floor, where it faces onto the front garden and receives even north light. This strategic design move reunites the kitchen with the dining room, creating a progressively more private domain towards the back of the house, facing the garden.


The house is future proofed: kitted out with thermal insulation and underfloor waterproof membranes to reduce moisture levels, it is now powered by an air-source heat pump. A new 12m2 garden studio provides an annexed space separate from the house for enjoying the client’s extensive vinyl collection. It features a wildflower green roof and rainwater collection and is accessed via the south-facing garden, which features a stepped landscape with verdant planting including evergreen climbers, designed by garden designer Miria Harris.

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