London extension’s ceiling with folds, by Bureau de Change Architects

Folds is a three-storey period terrace house in North London. As the architects say, it appealed for a scheme that “would open up views to the adjoining Parkland Walk conservation area”.

Bureau de Change Architects gave this north London house extension a pleated ceiling to create the illusion it has been squashed onto the rear of the brick terraced property.folds_bureau_de_change_architects_more_with_less_magazine_architecture_2 The focal point of the project is a pleated roof at the back of the house, which appears to be formed from a flat surface, forced to crinkle up into a faceted structure, as it is pushed up against the exterior wall. From the garden, the pleats are purposefully sunk from view, creating the impression of a simple flat roof, which allows the character of the original building to stand out.folds_bureau_de_change_architects_more_with_less_magazine_architecture_1

These folds, the zigzagging surfaces of the ceiling and walls, give the impression that the structure buckled when attached to the existing brickwork.

Forming a side and rear extension, the roof expands the existing kitchen and creates a new dining and work area. The roof pleats are replicated along the party wall, concealing a home office which can be opened up when required. The boundary of the kitchen is marked assertively by the end of the pleated ceiling, which is capped by a midnight blue surface that emphasises its ample peaks and troughs. 

While the poise of the roof offers natural points for the placement of generous skylights, it brings light into the living area. It also fulfils the owners’ desire to see the nearby woodland whilst relaxing in the space.folds_bureau_de_change_architects_more_with_less_magazine_architecture_4 folds_bureau_de_change_architects_more_with_less_magazine_architecture_5

The scheme is characterised by a rich palette of colours, materials and textures. This rich palette allows creating a different experience in each space.

Large terrazzo slabs, encaustic tiles and tonal parquet, complement the complexion of the original building, whilst enhancing the graphic impact of the angular extension.folds_bureau_de_change_architects_more_with_less_magazine_architecture_6