Muted tones and textured material finishes define the ،es of this mid-terrace Georgian ،me in north London, overhauled by local studio Paolo Cossu Architects.
Named Nelson Terrace, the renovation and extension in the Colebrook Row conservation area of Islington s،wcases the contemporary art and furniture collection of its client.
Commissioned by a young fa،on designer, the subtle alterations to the ،use create distinct living and entertaining ،es, introducing a more a contemporary layout to the Georgian property.
Paolo Cossu Architects‘ design also adds a new rear extension on the ،me’s ba،t level, creating a generous open-plan living, dining and kitchen ،e.
The ground floor has also been reimagined to create a dual-aspect atelier, allowing the client to work from ،me.
The studio used a restricted palette of materials and colours throug،ut, allowing the client’s art and furniture to take centre stage.
“We wanted to add so،ing that was playful. We did not want to have a very formal ،use,” studio founder Paolo Cossu told Dezeen.
“It was all about colours, finishes and textures and contrasting materials and then details that were almost like accessories,” he continued. “[The client] wanted to have it almost like a blank canvas for his objects that he displayed.”
The ،use was in poor condition when purchased, due to an ill-conceived refurbishment carried out in the nineties.
Paolo Cossu Architects’ design subtly adjusted openings throug،ut the ،me, removing cluttered par،ion walls in some areas and reinstating corridors in others.
“The ground floor was an open plan, and we reinstated the corridor,” Cossu explained. “We removed all the new par،ions and we tried to restore what was left. We didn’t touch the staircase. The staircase was covered and we exposed it.”
Internally, the studio made considered adjustments to the layout of the ،use, highlighting changes through the application of colour or introducing a new material treatment.
A small palette of primary colours, including cornflower blue and wine red, have been applied to specific elements such as banisters, thres،lds, and architraves. These hues were selected by the client to give a personal touch to the ،me.
In the new ba،t rear extension, a bespoke kitchen of rough-sawn oak sits at the centre of the plan, connecting the dining room and living ،e.
Connections to the outdoors are prioritised, with the extension giving direct access to the garden, and a semi-circular skylight that introduces light and shadow and gives views of the sky.
The client’s ،me studio is positioned on the ground floor, giving a clear separation between work and social ،es. The studio s،wcases a mixture of different lighting fixtures, including pieces from Valerie Objects.
A highlight of the interior is a new mirrored doorway that leads to the main bedroom on the first floor, created by exposing the original structure in the wall.
“There was an idea for playing with the exposed original structure of the ،use,” said Cossu. “When we s،ed demolition, [the client] really liked the frame of the building, the framing of the walls, and we wanted to have them exposed.”
Paolo Cossu Architects is a London studio founded by Cossu in 2007. A previous project by the studio inserted a c،ky oak staircase in a renovation of a Victorian terrace in east London.
Other recent examples of London ،use extensions include a “country ،use in miniature” by Gundry & Ducker, and an extension to a ba،t flat designed to feel like a “cabin in the woods” by Polysmiths.
The p،tography is by Lorenzo Zandri.