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Matchbox house, Stoke Newington by Archmonger

Canal boat interiors inspire space-efficient extension to London house by Archmongers

Archmongers has extended the rear of a terraced house in Stoke Newington that features interiors lined with built-in plywood furniture to maximise the available space and a staircase made from a jigsaw of pieces.

Matchbox house, Stoke Newington by Archmonger

London studio Archmongers designed the closet-wing and mansard extensions for a growing family who wanted to create more space at their two-storey property in the residential area of north London.

Having already added a side-return extension to the ground floor a decade ago, the owners decided to extend vertically onto the roof of the house and the closet wing to provide the required spaces.

Matchbox house, Stoke Newington by Archmonger

The addition to the closet wing features angled surfaces wrapped in standing-seam zinc panels that complement the traditional tiled roofs of the neighbouring houses.

"The external form of the closet wing extension is articulated with a variety of angles, which extend and tuck in to negotiate planning criteria whilst gaining the paramount views and light," said the architects.

Matchbox house, Stoke Newington by Archmonger

Windows incorporated into the walls and roof allow plenty of light to enter the plywood lined interior, which can be used as an office or craft space, and for additional guest accommodation if required.

A new stair connects the two new half-levels. A reading nook accommodated on the landing between them ensures that this typically unused circulation space is given a practical purpose.

Matchbox house, Stoke Newington by Archmonger

Plywood walls throughout the extension incorporate cupboards and shelves that optimise the available space and perform dedicated functions.

"The closet wing extension evokes the scale of a canal boat, with linoleum-clad bespoke joinery making use of all the space, and cupboards with specific functions to house a sewing machine, wrapping paper and specialist collections," Archmongers added.

Matchbox house, Stoke Newington by Archmonger

A central table features folding leaves that combine to form a larger surface for craft activities. Its linoleum top and the surfaces of the worktops and shelves match the grey tone of the new windows.

An upholstered sofa that looks out onto the surrounding terraces and gardens through a window at the end of the space can unfold to make an occasional bed.

Matchbox house, Stoke Newington by Archmonger

From the level of the workspace, the stairs continue up to the mansard extension, which contains a master bedroom and en-suite bathroom.

The plywood staircase was designed as a kit of 64 parts that were accurately cut to size using a CNC machine so they could be quickly and easily assembled on site.

The plywood structure incorporates storage for books and magazines on the top landing, as well as a pair of tracks inserted into the balustrade so the client's sons can race their toy cars down to the next level.

Matchbox house, Stoke Newington by Archmonger

The mansard extension features exposed Douglas-fir roof joists that accentuate the height of the master bedroom, which is designed as a bright and calm space featuring built-in cabinets and bedside storage.

The en-suite bathroom has a large window and a small internal window overlooking the hall that ensure it receives plenty of natural light and views to make the space feel larger.

The walls are lined with sheets of pale terrazzo that complement the other white surfaces and sanitary ware. Brass taps introduce a contrasting warm tone and tactile detail that will gain a unique patina over time.

Matchbox house, Stoke Newington by Archmonger

Archmongers' previous residential projects in London include remodelling and refreshing a 196os house using glazed tiles similar to those found in London's underground stations, and creating brighter spaces with colourful accents inside a former 1970s council house.

Photography is by French + Tye.

Project credits:

Architects: Archmonger
Structural engineer: Foster Structures

More images and plans

Matchbox house, Stoke Newington by Archmonger
Mansard extension floor plan
Matchbox house, Stoke Newington by Archmonger
Closet wing floor plan
Matchbox house, Stoke Newington by Archmonger
Extensions drawing