Tower House was covered in the Metro newspaper as part of Open House London 2018:
LOOK AND LEARN…
OPEN HOUSE IS THE CHANCE TO PEEK BEHIND THE CLOSED DOORS OF SOME AMAZING HOUSES, SAYS ANDREA DEAN
STANDING in the stepped back garden of the Tower House, the source of its name becomes immediately apparent as its new extension, stretching up two-and-a-half storeys, resembles a slender and very stylish tower.
The listed two-bed Victorian house hadn’t peen touched in a long time, so the owners brought in architect Dominic McKenzie to bring it up to date, whilst preserving its character and history. ‘There was an ugly 1980s extension, and the bathroom was previously a whole floor below the bedrooms, and the gloomy downstairs dining room overlooked a drain; says Dominic. ‘We dug out the garden to create a one-and-a-half-storey space containing the new dining room, which is overlooked by a balcony on the half landing of an existing staircase.’
The dig required careful planning as there’s no access into the garden, so the rubble had to be brought through the house on a conveyor belt.
Light pours into the room thanks to a 3.5metre-high timber sash window and a pair of French windows which are almost as tall, and the blue kitchen, also on the ground floor, was created by a specialist joiner. The new bathroom, combining traditional and contemporary touches, sits above it and is now closer to the bedrooms. ‘We reused a period window in here, and due to the property’s listed status, restored elements such as cornices and architraves,’ continues Dominic. ‘We had to revise our original ideas as we’d wanted to add another level on the top of the house, but were refused planning permission – even though the houses on either side have mansard extensions: Oak flooring’s been used throughout, and the ground-floor living room has a new Carrara marble fireplace. Although the garden’s compact, the planted terraces create the illusion of space. Clever and playful visual tricks contributes to the success of the project. ‘The exaggerated sizes of the windows produce a shift in scale. When people stand next to them, they can look very small: says Dominic.