The modernist ideal of an open floor plan comes into productive friction with the reality of a traditional semi-detached house in southwest London.

Structure reconciles the two opposing logics, transferring loads from above, freeing the space of the home to extend into a rear and side yard. An expressed steel beam spans nine meters across the width of the house, framing life within and creating a column-free ground floor. A sunken polished concrete living room with a built-in couch provides a soft spatial separation between the different programs of the open floor plan.

The traditional linear organization of the London terrace house – one space after another – is rewired so that spaces pinwheel into one another. The spindles of the wood handrail are subtly rotated, filtering views from the entry hall and activating the space of the stair even when unoccupied. Upper level rooms are extended out and up to the rafters, expanding the house to fully fill its envelope. Incorporating a rear ground floor extension, a side ground and first floor extension, and a roof extension, the original house is more than doubled in size from 80m2 to 180m2.

Design Team: Ryan Neiheiser, Xristina Argyros, Giorgio Piscitelli, Niccolo Cesaris, Atiyeh Nagavi

Engineering: Igor Smirnov

Consultants: MEP : McDermott Consulting

Contractor: Ellune Properties

Images © George Telis