Squint hard enough at this extension project in Islington and you can make out a playful fox motif built into the structure, with its sloping muzzle, three visible legs and beady porthole eye. The building replaced an original kitchen that was being used as a scullery, with the owners saying they wanted to use the room as a family space suitable for their young children.
The project, by David Kohn Architects, took around two years from initial meeting to completion, with the design process taking up half of that. “It was complex in terms of what we were trying to achieve,” says David Kohn. “The client wanted a space that was both airy and divided up into distinct areas; open to the garden but in keeping with the original house. There were lots of seemingly opposing things to consider. The fox came about by happy chance around half way through planning and was a big hit with the children.
“The extension is intended to feel like a pergola, with concrete columns framing outdoor spaces. A continuous sliding glazed screen allows virtually uninterrupted views outdoors and for the interior to be completely opened up to the garden in the summer. The red brick facade matches the more ornate street facade and the pattern of the brickwork makes playful reference to the different geometrical relationships of the extension to the original house. The more formal living rooms in the front were connected to the extension through a new arched window.”
The interior of the new space is divided into a kitchen with a large island counter, a reading room filled with natural light that overlooks the garden and a dining room with plenty of room for guests.