New London Architecture

Three rooms under one roof. Environmental leadership. Don't Move, Improve! 2020

Tuesday 11 February 2020

Magazine
Exhibition
 When you realise that your growing family needs room to breathe but you want to stay put, architecture can come to the rescue.

And that’s where architect Silvia Ullmayer came in with a neat and sustainable response that enabled her family’s own self-build timber framed house for two to expand into a four-person home/office.

‘We thought of moving but we’d have to move into a traditional Victorian house and we loved our timber house’ Silvia Ullmayer, architect and owner

Raising the canopy of a crafted timber home to grow alongside an extending family tree. ‘Three rooms’ transforms a small, self-build, timber frame terraced house for a couple, into a four-person home and office. Open plan was no longer suitable for the new-found jubilant chaos of both raising children and working from home, therefore the beloved space was redesigned to adapt for teenagers. Through retaining the fundamental concept of verticality and the sensation of looking up, new ‘canopies’ were interpreted and designed from below. An inventive construction language evolved from birch ply, stressed-skin technology and traditional timber construction, coinciding to create three new rooms under a new roof. Linking the three levels required coupling a new set of stairs with the relocated, bespoke steel staircase. The helical circulation acts as a joyfully economical transition between all floors and maximises the dimensions of the main social space, ensuring gatherings around cooking and the family dining table. The sustainability strategy minimising impact through means of an extensive circular retrofit, post occupancy energy monitoring and a palette of 100 per cent responsibly sourced timber. The new lattice roof not only contributes spatially but enables a stack effect from the double height space and passively ventilates the home, showing a consciousness for the buildings on-going carbon consumption.

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