Matthew Giles Architects uses beams to frame the view in a London house

Matthew Giles Architects used white oak joinery and different floor levels to break up the open plan ground floor of this redesigned and upgraded six-bedroom house in Wandsworth, London.


The Victorian house in the row belongs to a young family who wanted to create a home that was more suitable for the fun and stay of relatives.

A small back extension has been added

Originally a four-room house, a London office Matthew Giles Architects they were asked by the owner to add two bedrooms and a basement for services and storage.

The family wanted to improve the connection between and outside, as well as improve the flow of light and visual connections throughout the house.

To create additional space, the architects added a side back and a small rear extension with Corten’s steel roof, loft and basement floor. These additions increased the interior floor area from 155 square meters to 216 square meters.

Matthew Giles Architects designed London City Hall
Light and neutral tones define the home

“With a small backyard garden at the back, the size of the extension on the ground floor is designed to strike a balance between the acquired interior space and the loss of the garden,” Giles told Dezeen.

“Although modest, the ground floor extension acts as a tool for enhanced light flow through the ground floor and basement level. The vaulted side extension provides much-needed height to create a sense of light and space.”

Matthew Giles Architects inserted a reading nook on the ground floor
A reading corner has been created on the ground floor

The interior is finished with a neutral palette of raw materials such as wood, stone, concrete, wood and brick.

On the ground floor, in front of the house, the new parquet floor attracts the view through the lobby towards the light from the garden from the back. Different floor levels were used to divide the narrow space into three different zones.

Neutral tones in the kitchen
White marble surfaces were used in the kitchen

The first is the entrance area overlooking the street, the second serves as a reading corner with white oak joinery and railings, and the third is a sunken kitchen and dining room overlooking the garden through full-height glass doors.

The kitchen features Douglas fir wood beams, wooden cabinets, white Carrara marble surfaces and exposed London masonry walls covering the side wall.

“The kitchen acts as a point around which other activities take place,” the studio said. “Exposed beams create an improved quality of light and a sense of order as they look along the house toward the garden and frame the views as you move through the house.”

Polished concrete floors are installed in the kitchen and dining room and on the adjacent outdoor terrace to help blur the boundaries between inside and outside.

Design has an intimate connection with nature
Parquet adds texture to interiors

“The design is done so that in all areas there is a close connection with nature,” the architects explained. “Sitting in a lofty, vaulted dining room, the view is framed by two cast-concrete concrete pillars filled to widen the view.”

In the basement there is a space for playrooms, a new bedroom and an auxiliary room which is lit by openings on the first floor and a covered roof window. The skylight also creates a visual connection between the playroom and the kitchen.

Matthew Giles Architects kept the rooms bright and bright
Neutral tones also appear on the floor

“This sectional approach adds a sense of drama,” the practice said. “Shadows descend down the brick wall, and clouds are framed in a skylight two stories above.”

The restrained palette of colors and materials continues in the bedrooms and upstairs bathrooms, with the addition of polished Tadelakt plaster in the bathroom.

Roof window in the basement
The skylight fills the basement with natural light

Matthew Giles founded his practice in 2020 after 12 successful years in collaboration with architect Tom Pike.

As half of Giles & Pike, he has completed a number of housing projects across the capital, including a stair extension to a house in Putney, the conversion of a Victorian workshop into a home and a wood-covered residence designed for a small plot.

It’s a photo Lorenzo Zandri.

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