Gainsborough Gardens, Belsize Park

Extension and refurbishment of a Grade II Listed private arts and crafts house in North London.

Gainsborough Gardens was laid out in 1882 on the site of old spa buildings and pleasure grounds. The buildings constitute a fine group of Arts and Crafts villas of red brick, enriched by tile hanging and white painted woodwork encircling the mature, well-maintained gardens in the centre.

Our client wanted to upgrade the interior of the house and create a new contemporary extension to provide a more spacious and flexible dining room. This replaces an existing, non-original conservatory that needed improvements. The new one-storey extension projects from the rear, southeast wall of the existing house. The space is largely transparent with floor to ceiling glazing, integrating soft planting into the composition. Slimline sliding double glazed doors open the extension to an upgraded terrace and to the rear garden. Its structure is in Corten steel providing a muscular frame for the light space it contains, whilst being similar in tone to the red brick and fishscale tiles of the upper floors. The roof is also in a Corten steel finish with stepped edge to diminish the visual thickness, with framing in sleek dark grey aluminium.

In addition to the extension, significant work has been carried out to reconfigure the basement of the building, as well as upgrades to bathrooms and the kitchen. A new front boundary wall has been formed using a plinth of red brickwork to match the existing building.. Above this, are black painted metal railings utilising a diamond motif that recalls the design of the existing wall to the rear garden as well as other boundary walls in the vicinity.

Project Team

Client: Private Client

Lead Architect: Burwell Architects

Structural Engineer: Price & Myers

Main Contractor: Elev8

Project Data

Construction: 2018-20

Form of Contract: Traditional Contract