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Friday, August 12, 2022

Grange Grove by THISS

East London multidisciplinary architecture practice THISS recently completed a refurbishment on a Georgian three-bedroom home in the leafy Canonbury Conservation area.

The client was keen to open up the property and make the house feel more connected. A defining feature of the project is the use of a series of deep cuts into the existing fabric of the building, which increases the overall sense of space and carves out new volumes of light that run throughout the family home.

A conical extraction runs through the core of the house and is lined with a floating straircase leading to a new bathroom nestled on the top floor. The materiality and volume of these features compliment an otherwise simple and minimal colour palette. Teal terrazzo elements in the tiling and bespoke fireplace is paired with the light wood of the cabinets. THISS worked closely with the client to design all the joinery for daily use in mind and in order to maximise on space.

We spoke to Sash Scott, Co-Founder of THISS, about the design details of the project and the importance of a positive collaborative relationship with the clients.

Where did the conversation with the client begin and what was their brief?

It began in the back garden just after they had purchased the property. It was evident from standing there and looking back at the house that it had a tight relationship with its neighbours, but was ultimately suffering from a slightly awkward layout on ground floor that made it feel small and dark. It was a small house already so it was clear from the beginning that we should make it feel as light and fresh as possible, while retaining a respectful relationship to the heritage of the local area.

Our clients were amazing; they put their trust in us and worked with us towards a shared vision. They were fantastic and right with us every step of the way, and the finished article is a result of that fun and fruitful relationship.

Tell us about some of the new design features that were unique to this project? 

Our clients wanted to create more usable space in general, so the first thing we did was explore moving the stairs to overlap a bathroom and small bedroom into the first floor. This involved carving out a conical void over the stair that cut into the bedroom, with the shower of the bathroom protruding into the original stairwell. It was quite a tricky move as the space was super tight, but ended up creating one of the more beautiful moments in the house.

Can you talk about the use of materials throughout? 

We worked closely with the clients to a refined palette of materials that expressed a balance of natural and performative qualities. We used materials like Moroccan plaster and terrazzo for the more tactile surfaces like the bathrooms, and stainless steel and acrylic where we wanted to emphasise a more technological edge, such as in the kitchen.

How did you tackle issues surrounding sustainability?

We consider this project a retrofit as we did not modify the external envelope or demolish anything structural in order to make new. This was most notable in the extension, where we opted to retain as much as possible and  upgrade the under-performing elements, rather than demolish rebuild new. This was a key factor that not only kept costs down but also reduced the amount of non recyclable material that was used on site. No new concrete was used in this project and we’re very proud of that.

www.thiss.works | IG: @thiss.studio


READ MORE from THISS as they share their experiences of exploring projects with a strong grounding in context and place.

Rebekah Killigrew
Rebekah Killigrewhttp://www.rebekahkilligrew.com
Editor | ww.architecturemagazine.co.uk | www.interiordesigner.co.uk

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