Thornhill House Islington, North London interior and extension, Upper Street home Images, Listed terrace residential property

Thornhill House in Islington

9 Mar 2023

Design: Bradley Van Der Straeten

Location: Islington, North London, England, UK

Thornhill House Islington London

Photos: French + Tye

Thornhill House, London

Thornhill House – a respectfully modernized Grade II listed terrace in Islington, that provides its owners a quiet and secluded retreat. Bradley Van Der Straeten’s clients had been recommended by a previous client of the architects’ and were looking for an architect to help them transform their beautiful Grade II listed property in Islington.

Thornhill House Islington London

What was the property like before?
The original house, spread over three floors, was in poor condition and had lost its charm. Original features, such as the covings and skirting boards, had been removed and replaced with unsympathetic interventions. The property had never been extended before, but the neighbours on both sides had, which left the rear of the house with an underwhelming small window, single access door and a space outside waiting for development.

Thornhill House Islington London

What was the brief?
Our clients wanted to renovate the entire property, including a small extension to provide a new bathroom and provision for a study space. On the lower ground floor, they wanted to extend to create a good sized, kitchen, dining and living space – an open plan series of connected spaces with a better outlook to the quiet, loved garden.

Thornhill House Islington London

What were the key challenges?
The challenge with the brief was to achieve the open plan living spaces, whilst satisfying Islington council’s requirements for respecting the plan form of the original building. In non-planning speak, this meant keeping most of the back wall of the house on the lower ground floor, so we had to be clever with how we extended and how we made the living spaces flow.

Thornhill House Islington Thornhill House Islington

What were the solutions?
After testing a few iterations with the kitchen in the main body of the house we soon realised, with the challenge of keeping the rear wall, the best space for the kitchen was to face onto the rear garden. The layout of the kitchen responded directly to the tight constraints presented by the council (the new rear room had to remain smaller than the existing lounge) so we rotated the kitchen island to be perpendicular from the main run of units and face out onto the garden.

The kitchen is made to feel as spacious as possible with the addition of a new roof window and with a curved ceiling above the island. The space opens on the garden via a new glass door and a large sliding window. The sliding window opens onto an outside seating space that captures the best evening sunlight.

Thornhill House Islington London

‘We love the privacy of our external space – stepped back from our neighbours’ – Client

Upstairs, building levels were carefully coordinated to accommodate enough height for a new guest shower room above the kitchen. A rear room facing the garden has been transformed into the perfect study, with enough space for both clients to work in the same room.

The entire top floor has been given over to a newly refurbished main bedroom and adjacent, pink-tiled bathroom.

‘Jessica and the team at BVDS managed to carry excitement through from the beginning of the process until the completion of the build’ – Client

Thornhill House Islington Thornhill House Islington

What do the Clients say?
‘One of our favourite spaces in the bedroom – it has a tranquility about it. Its strange when you move back into a house that’s been transformed as it doesn’t necessarily feel like home immediately, but that room did’

‘We felt very blessed to have Jessica (BVDS) and the builders (Optimal) on the project’

Thornhill House Islington England Thornhill House Islington England

Thornhill House in London, England – Building Information

Design: Bradley Van Der Straeten –

Completion date: 2022
Building levels: 3

Project Architect: Jessica Williamson
Project Director: George Bradley

Thornhill House Islington

Photography: French + Tye

Thornhill House in North London images / information received 070722 from Square Feet Architects

Location: Upper Street, London, England, United Kingdom

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