Rebuilding a Grade II listed Georgian Terraced house in Islington, London
The project involved rebuilding a fine house at the end of a historic London terrace in the northwest corner of Canonbury Square originally dating from circa 1812. The missing house had been demolished in 1937, ostensibly because of structural problems, although apocryphally because the landlord wanted to get rid of undesirable tenants. A one-bedroom house was built in the 1950s behind the basement and ground floor front wall which had been retained. Its garden was later sold off to the adjoining house.
Initially, our brief was to obtain planning permission and listed building consent for a rebuilt house, but without the garden it would have had to be divided into flats. Our client then managed to buy back the garden, allowing a further application for rebuilding as a single family house. The whole process proved challenging and, with significant rights of light issues and a slip-up by the council, took over five years to resolve.
Our design completes the square, with an articulated end wall to the terrace, which is visible from adjoining spaces. We used evidence from a photograph of the front elevation taken before demolition and we surveyed the adjoining house, with which it had formed a pair, in order to establish both the original floor plan and the detailing of the very high quality Georgian joinery and plasterwork.
The house was subsequently built, to our design, by others.
Winner of the Georgian Group Awards 2015: The Giles Worsley Award For a New Building in a Georgian Context.
“There is something deeply satisfying about giving back to mutilated terraces their proper form and dimensions – in this instance the beneficial effect is magnified as the terrace sits in a square, so a regained sense of enclosure is added to the mix. Plenty of damaged Georgian terraces have been pieced back together with anaemic, half-hearted infill, but this project does far more than pay lip service. It is an extraordinary accomplishment in an ordinary environment.”