Park Avenue South by Studio Octopi


London architects Studio Octopi have completed an extension to a Victorian end-of-terrace house in north London that features an angular roof and large triangular skylights.

Called Park Avenue South, the extension is clad entirely with black zinc.

This addition to the original house doubles the size of the kitchen/dining room, which now connects directly to the garden through a section of wall that swings outwards.

Photographs have been taken by Lyndon Douglas.

Here's some more information from Studi Octopi:



The extension to this Victorian end of terrace house is located between Crouch End and Muswell Hill.

The original builder was also the house’s first resident, and made the most of his triangular plot by allowing the side of the building to fan out to meet the line of the adjacent public footpath.

On the ground floor this resulted in an additional fillet of space splitting the living and dining rooms. It was the divisional nature of this space (used as a utility room) that the client asked studio octopi to resolve.

By relocating the utility room, the plan was reordered and paved the way for an extension that linked the living spaces.

The design was developed through a series of folded paper sketch models exploring the nature of the triangular plot, the geometry and aspect.

The lines of the roof ridges were drawn out from two points on the rear wall of the house, whilst the elevations extend the lines of the living room and the external rear wall of the kitchen.

The structure is clad entirely in black zinc, with standing seams tracing a path across the roof, emphasising its complex topography and echoing the folds created in the paper concept models.

From a distance, the structure reads as a strong geometric form that has grown out from the back of the house, but at closer quarters, its edges appear to soften and the malleability of the zinc and the very slight billows in its surface come into focus.

The impression formed is of a tailored garment turned inside out to reveal a complex structure of pleated seams.

Internally, the smooth planes and sharp facets of the ceiling recall an origami paper lantern, neatly folded and then popped up into three dimensions to form a bright lining to the dark fabric over-garment.

Seemingly in constant motion, the planes shift and tilt, alternating with triangular roof lights that frame views of the sky, trees and distant chimney-tops.

A cantilevered island unit clad in seamless black granite delineates the kitchen from the living space.

Bridging the step down to the kitchen it creates on one side a working surface at waist height, and a seating area on the other.

This monumental feature is echoed in the granite terraces that lead out into the garden.

Click for larger image

These are the first elements of the planned landscaping, with areas of paving and planting that will reflect the form of the structure’s openings like patches of light cast by the paper lantern.

dzn_Park Avenue South by Studioctopi 23

Click for larger image

Posted on Friday January 29th 2010 at 1:39 pm by Chris Barnes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • I Can Has Cheeseburger

    It’s like my dream home!! Luving it.

  • julien

    Give me the same house and a 1960’s jaguar car to get to central London, and I’ll move back to UK tomorrow…

  • architect

    nicely done! the interior origami-like folds are a bit too much of a contrast with the rest of the house I find, as well as the roof cuts, but the rest I like!

  • I wonder what the neighbors think.

    I love it.

  • kur0yi

    wow frist detailed drawing i’ve seen on dezeen. im a bit curious about the wooden beams lying within the steel t-beam?

  • sucuno

    I actually think the facets and origami-like folds is the thing that really makes this addition work. It doesn’t try to replicate or compete with the character of the original house. But rather engages the original volume’s figural perimeter and division of the masonry facade to result in something so wonderfully strange.

  • curtis

    If Daniel Leibskind had built a museum in Port au Prince, it would look like the interior of this. I dont get it.

  • Lovely architecture, beautiful example of how the new extension pitch / origami roof fit to the old. Love the interior space and the wonderful cantilevered island unit and the contrast of the colours.
    The only one thing I would change is the soft wood (ash) floor, it just won’t last. You can have the same affect with oak. I bet it wasn’t the architect choice but down to budget.
    Lovely project !!!

  • Paul

    Great use of both natural and artificial light.

    In fact, I would now consider to extend the origami part and get rid of all the Victorian bricks.

  • scarpa

    Great project! And thanks Dezeen for including legible-resolution plans and details…keep that coming, please, it so much enhances each post.

  • Obscurity

    I would like to know if there is any documented research that explored long-term effects on the residents of surrounding geometric shapes…

  • Thank you for all your positive feedback. It was a challenging project to work on. A committed client, plenty of hard work in the studio and a long hands on construction phase all paid off!


    contractor: Famella
    structural engineer: Price&Myers
    photography: Lyndon Douglas Photography

  • Matteo

    how did they manage to get planning permission for this? I’m so jealous, I did an addition to a Victorian house in London and got raked over the coals by the planning authority… it ended up looking like crap!

    Beautiful work! I would love to see the planning application, it must have been very convincing, and they must have very nice neighbors!

  • but why

    besides, attempting liebeskindish architecture on a victorian design might not be WTG.

  • but why

    I wrote a comment here, a rather polite one, not using any foul language.

    it did however involve criticism.
    it was removed

    a censored commentaryfield where the criticism is removed seems entirely…. useless.