New London Architecture

White Rabbit House. Unique Character Prize. Don't Move, Improve! 2020

Tuesday 11 February 2020

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If Alice in Wonderland was based in north London, it would have found a good home in the White Rabbit House. Client Laura Imrie bought the 1970s neo-Georgian house in Islington, part of a terrace, and was looking to fully refurbish it. She found her architect after an internet trawl of projects she liked the look of. 

‘We came and had a chat, sent our proposal off and then waited to hear, it was a modern house, a post-war house and so therefore it was a new sort of challenge. It was a completely blank slate’ Christian Ducker of Gundry & Ducker

A new staircase sits in a triple height space with a reconfiguration of internal floor levels from two to three stories. The ambition was to turn a very ordinary two and a half bedroom house into something special, while accommodating three double bedrooms and plenty of bathrooms along with generous living space and built in storage. Stripping out the entire interior, a modern interpretation of a Georgian house was inserted into the interior. The design is centred around a cantilevered pill shaped staircase that sits in a triple height space, with the upper rooms accessed direct from the staircase. The hallway has a chequerboard floor in marble and terrazzo with the terrazzo continuing up the staircase. A rear extension provides a kitchen and dining space. A full width roof light illuminates the middle of the plan. Local planning restrictions inexplicably prevented dormer windows to the rear, to achieve three stories the floor plates were redistributed within the available space. There is a visual link through the house from the front door through to the arched garden window and the space beyond. The rear facade is composed of white brick and terrazzo and alludes to Georgian marble fireplace surrounds.

‘It definitely feels like it was built for me, it works for how I’m living’ Laura, owner

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