15b Herne Hill Road

This project involved a substantial renovation of a 2 bed flat on the upper floors of a fairly typical Victorian terrace house in south London.

The flat is where I live and work from, and I carried out all of the building work myself, taking advantage of the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the practical elements of the building process. This project took several years to complete, living on the premises while carrying out the alterations room by room.

As well as completely re-arranging the accomodation (the space under the mansard roof, which was previously occupied by two low-ceilinged bedrooms, has been transformed into an open plan living, kitchen and work area) the work included retro-fitting substantial insulation to the interior of the original building shell. This is an ongoing investigation into what is possible in terms of improving the thermal performance of buildings of this age, which make up a large proportion of the UK’s building stock. Sensors embedded in the external walls have been recording changes in moisture content, humidity and temperature since summer 2014. This will allow the longer-term effects of adding insulation to an elderly brick structure to be monitored in some detail.

Some of the material taken out in the renovation process (timbers from the partially collapsed original roof structure, and laths from removed lath-and-plaster dividing walls) has been re-used for surface finishes in the new space. The kitchen is made from scratch using sheet zinc, and a small work area is screened off from the living space with a half-height wall of translucent polycarbonate panels.

The project was featured in the 2013, 2015 and 2016 Open House London events.



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