The real excitement of modern architecture revolves around the idea and the phenomenon of that idea. By that we mean, small and considered homes are the ones that are often the most inspiring as you can shape space, light and materials to a degree that you cannot achieve in larger projects. The latest reconfiguration by British architects Hutch Design – the Hackney Mews House – is a case in point.
The studio, founded by Craig Hutchinson in 2017, updated a two-bedroom house situated off Broadway Market in Hackney for a professional couple with two young children. The biggest challenge that the studio faced was transforming the dark, dated and the claustrophobic into the contemporary and carefree. It's fair to say that they've succeeded.
As the original brick building is enclosed at the side and rear of other buildings and had low ceilings in both the kitchen and the living room, the house suffered for a lack of natural light. Hutch Design added a side extension and re-orientated the staircase to create the sort of bright and airy spaces that would suit the client’s lifestyle.
One of the key alterations of Hutch Design implemented to improve the sense of volume within the property was lowering the ground floor to increase the overall ceiling height.
The reconfigured interior is now arranged over a series of three split levels. The connected spaces create a sense of continuity rather than separation, which is accentuated by the consistent use of materials throughout the interior.
To address the need for better natural light, Hutch Design also increased the size of window opening at the front and side of the building and inserted new timber-framed windows. Elsewhere, a full-width roof light above the repositioned staircase allows daylight to reach the centre of the house and the kitchen at the rear, while the clever use of mirrors and warm natural materials enhances the spacious feel. The result is a contemporary London home that looks and feels far more spacious than its footprint.
Take the tour of the Hackney Mews House in the image gallery above and if you’re on the hunt for another hidden London gem, then check out the Leverton House, Notting Hill.
Photography by Helen Cathcart