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HOME TOURS: THE SCIENCE LAB

September 29, 2017

Who would have thought such an amazing home would be down the road?! When I was house hunting I even viewed a property directly opposite but didn't even register that this was a home because at the time it just looked like a rather tired commercial building, it was in fact two flats.

 

The building then came up for sale, and luckily the current owners snapped it up as now the place has been transformed into a stunning family home! 

 

Built in 1935 as an annex to a now demolished Victorian school (130 Trumpington Rd). The annex is attached to the school caretaker’s house and was used as a canteen, art department and science laboratory.

 

The building later became a recording studio in the late 1980s and early 1990s. There are rumours that East17 and RunDMC have recorded demo tapes on the first floor. There was evidence of live-room, mixing-room and high amperage power lines into building. Squatters occupied the building in the early 2000s causing considerable damage. After the squatters were removed, the house was converted into two self-contained flats and rented out until 2015, when the current owners purchased them.

 

The brief was to convert the property from two self-contained flats into a family house including roof terrace. This involved securing planning permission to convert the house into a single dwelling and further planning permission for the roof terrace with wild-flower green roof.

 

The client was looking for enough space to house a family with space to spare for visitors and a home office. There was a strong desire to keep and restore original features such as the solid pine herringbone flooring, perimeter terracotta tiles and the existing concrete stairwell with metal balustrade. Also important was making the best use of natural light, having a dedicated utility room and ample storage.

 

Due to the concrete construction and existing layout, the two floors were physically disconnected and it was important to make a link between the ground and first floor in order to make it feel like one house. The house also had to be highly energy efficient and sustainable.

The house was stripped back to its concrete walls and ceilings in order to install highly efficient perimeter and internal wall insulation but existing original features were restored or reinstated.

 

The ground floor became the private areas of the house and include two large bedrooms with bespoke fitted wardrobes and storage, one smaller bedroom for guests, a utility room with all services and boiler and a generous central hall connecting all the rooms and the first floor.

 

The first floor is arranged into three zones by the new yellow painted timber stairs with anthracite grey metal handrail and balustrade. The matching kitchen has ample storage space, concealed appliances and features stainless steel worktops and an island with space to sit at. The dining area features a long table comfortably seating eight people. The living room on the opposite side houses the book- and vinyl collection using Vitsoe 606 shelving. The layout provides a great space for cooking, entertaining and relaxing.

 

A white steel staircase with painted plywood treads leads up via a large skylight to the roof terrace looking across East London. The staircase was specifically designed to reflect the 1930s aesthetics of the house and to let the light fall through it, white powder-coated metal mesh was used between each step that creates beautiful shadow patterns along the wall.

The roof is externally insulated and features a wild-flower green roof. The decking and planters are made with Millboard, which is very lightweight, virtually maintenance free and made of 100% recycled materials. Both have integrated drainage to let the rainwater run off to the existing downpipes. The planters hold enough soil to plant small trees and include ample storage space for gardening tools and furniture. The roof terrace provides views across Wanstead Flats, the BT tower and Canary Wharf yet is completely private and secluded.

 

 Text credit Open House website

 

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