In the north London village of Stoke Newington, is the cosy residence Block House by English architects, nimtim. Initially, the firm was approached by a young family who had recently bought an end-of-terrace Victorian house. This house was in a derelict state and a priority was placed on upgrading and creating an open plan ground floor family space. The existing lean-to conservatory was demolished in order to make room for a new side extension. Nimtim had instead, introduced a double height internal courtyard in the center if the residence. This included a glass block wall to one side, and an opening roof light above.
This central space acts as a focal point for the whole house; it organizes and choreographs the spaces around. This allows light to filter in and provides ventilation to the various parts of the house that might otherwise be dark and airless. The courtyard of the Block House is expressed differently; it borrows materials from the garden to distinguish it from the living spaces and thus emphasizing its identity as a conceptually external space. The various cost-effective and robust materials, which are much more often associated with industrial rather than domestic architecture, are used in tandem to create a sense of warmth and lightness throughout the house.
Block House is a family house that is honest in its materials and retains a high sense of warmth and domesticity for its inhabitants
The various structural walls of the extension are built in grey cement blocks with exposed aggregates- matte along the exterior and polished in the interior. The sand-blasted glass blocks create a diffused light internally, thus emphasizing the translucency of the space. These blocks glow at night from the internally lit space, illuminating and breaking up the exposed side flank wall. The interior palette includes European Oak flooring, terracotta tiles, and the soft pink concrete kitchen worktops also add an additional warmth. At the rear of the Block House, a large face-fixed sliding door allows most of the rear elevation to open out onto the new garden.
All photos belong to French + Tye.