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Primrose Hill House by Studio Carver


Studio Carver has reconfigured an early 2000’s semi-detached house into a light, modular home for a young family in Primrose Hill. Taking a less-is-more approach Studio Carver reconnected the darker lower living areas to the rest of the house and garden, creating a home that seamlessly flows between open spaces and quiet nooks in a neutral palette of natural materials.

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Built in the early 2000s, the existing house worked as a warren of disconnected rooms. The clients challenged Studio Carver to open up the interiors while still allowing the flexibility of spaces to be closed down at different times of the day. To tackle this, Studio Carver made clever use of the building’s five stories by removing a section of the raised ground floor, creating a modular floor plan featuring a double-height dining area that draws light into the heart of the home. Flanked by recessed joinery on one side and a home office on the other, sliding doors to the kitchen and office space allow the clients to open and close different zones depending on their needs.

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Whilst the finished project feels bigger, the total floor area has been reduced by 13 sqm. The critical difference is that the new spaces connect both visually and physically, flowing from one to the next.

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At the lower ground floor level, a glass and concrete extension open the kitchen and living area to the south-facing garden. An exposed concrete retaining wall extends from the living room out into the garden and stepped flower beds. This continuous material and frameless glazing draws the eye and further blurs the boundary between indoors and out.

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Studio Carver considered the thermal performance of the glass extension, adding a thick 120mm layer of insulation to the roof. To avoid the roof feeling heavy with such dense materials atop the frameless glass extension, the architects designed an intricate green roof of layered copper, zinc, and sedum to break down the mass of the parapet. The layering of different metals and plants hides the depth of the roof and creates visual delight at eye-line, merging the extension with the garden under perennials, flowers, and succulents.

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Upstairs, the clients can enjoy spreading out over five bedrooms and three bathrooms. Kept intentionally minimal, the bedrooms feature oak floors and white floor-to-ceiling built-in wardrobes with custom recessed timber handles. In the bathrooms, slim custom black marble sinks extend the length of the room countering the full height marble walls of the walk-in showers.

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Architects: Studio Carver; Area: 3100 m²; Year: 2019; Photographs: Tim Crocker;

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In choosing simple, durable, and quality materials Studio Carver balanced the large scale of the house with a sense of grace and softness. This gentle-giant is intricately detailed in all areas, from the front entrance foyer, up into the bedrooms, and out to the garden, giving the clients tiny moments of delight in all corners of their home.

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