Chiswick House

Chiswick House

Exploring how a 1950s dwelling can be tactfully remodelled, this revitalisation of a house in Chiswick touches on themes of light and materiality that evoke the spirit of the original architecture. Originally designed in the late 50s, the house was of sufficient interest to feature in The Architectural Review at the time, as part of the magazine’s regular survey of notable new British buildings. The aim of the remodelling was to tactfully tease apart the original cellular layout, introduce more light and rationalise space.

The key move is the addition of a new garden room attached to the kitchen. A long glazed slot articulates the distinction between old and new, bringing light into the plan. This is amplified by the garden room’s full height glazed sliding doors. A patio and reflecting pool finesse the transition between inside and out.

Combined with a new palette of white walls and floors, the lightweight addition forms a crisp foil to the existing brick architecture. Lined with exquisitely crafted timber, the living room retains a sense of its time, but reconceptualised for the current era. A new staircase is finished with an ingenious illuminated balustrade sunk in the wall, carving out a jagged line of light through the house.

Showing how to address the challenges of revitalising existing buildings through optimising and transforming space, this is one of PMA’s earliest projects. Though modest, it set the tone for the practice’s subsequent formal and material inquiry, enacted through an increasingly assured architectural repertoire. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value Private

Location Chiswick, London

Client Private Family

Date 2007

Area 525m²

Design Team Paul McAneary Architects

Design Service Paul McAneary, Robert Harwood

Main Contractor Chappell Build Ltd

Supplier Sky-frame

Press 2011 Marcelo Seferin, ‘Architect Day: Paul

McAnea! Architects’, Abuzeedo, 13 September 2011