Dezeen Magazine

Black house extension by Will Gamble Architects

Will Gamble Architects contrasts old and new in London house extension

London studio Will Gamble Architects has added an asymmetric and monochromatic extension to an Edwardian house in Richmond, designed to juxtapose the original architecture.

The extension, which is named Filmmaker's in reference to its owner's occupation, takes the form of two interlocking volumes and introduces flexible open-plan living space to the residence.

Black house extension in London
Will Gamble Architects has added an asymmetric extension to an Edwardian house in London

Will Gamble Architects designed its angular form to contrast the original home, creating visual interest while ensuring the old and new elements do not compete.

Its shape is accentuated by black zinc cladding, which is finished with standing steams.

House extension clad in black zinc
It is clad in black zinc

"The client owns a production company and, as a creative, they were keen to explore something of architectural interest," the studio's founder Will Gamble told Dezeen.

"Rather than copy the style of the existing house, we felt that a contemporary addition that contrasts the vernacular of the host building was more appropriate, so that old and new is still clearly legible and the two don't compete with one another," he said.

Open-plan living space by Will Gamble Architects
The extension contains an open-plan living space

The asymmetric form of the extension and its division into two interlocking volumes also ensures that it complies with local planning constraints.

"It needed to slope towards the boundary to minimise its height and subsequent impact on the neighbouring properties but also step in plan to marry in with the building line of the neighbouring extensions on either side," Gamble explained.

Dining room with exposed structure
Structural beams are left exposed

Another goal of the project was to improve the home's connection to the garden, without creating a wall of glazing.

Will Gamble Architects achieved this by incorporating a picture window with a seat and a large glazed pivot door leading out into the rear garden.

Open-plan kitchen by Will Gamble Architects
Natural materials are prioritised inside

"[The client] was keen to improve the connection with the garden whilst not having a fully glazed facade that is typical of most home extensions," said Gamble.

"This is where the idea of a window seat evolved from, that frames views of the garden but also forms part of an external planter of wild grasses, it allows the occupant to feel part of the garden when inhabiting the space."

Interior of Filmmaker's house extension by Will Gamble Architects
A picture window with a seat frames the garden

The monochromatic palette exterior of the extension continues inside. However, instead of metal, the use of natural materials is prioritised.

Bespoke joinery made from black MDF and birch plywood lines the space, with details intended to echo the "vertical language of the standing seam to the metal cladding".

White kitchen with black cabinetry
The joinery married black MDF with birch plywood

This includes kitchen cabinetry and shelving on the rear wall of the extension, which incorporates a homework space for the owner's young children.

Birch plywood is also used to frame the picture window and adjoining seat, which doubles as a bench for the dining area.

Overhead, the extension's douglas fir beams are exposed to provide pared-back "embellishment".

These beams are finished with white oil and run across a large frameless skylight that illuminates the living space.

House extension by Will Gamble Architects
Shelving lines the rear wall

Finishing touches include a tabletop made of ash that is raised on walnut legs, continuing the theme of natural materials, alongside a mid-century armchair sourced from a local antique shop.

White walls and a micro-cement floor with a light grey hue run throughout, creating a simple backdrop for the rest of the interior.

shelving with built-in desk
The joinery also incorporates a desk for the client's children

As part of the project, Will Gamble Architects also reconfigured the existing house and updated its bathrooms.

The ground floor bathroom features a bespoke vanity unit designed by the studio and is finished with the same micro-cement floor to create a sense of continuity.

Bathroom of Filmmaker's extension by Will Gamble Architects
A new bathroom was introduced as part of the project

Will Gamble Architects was founded in London in 2018. It also recently completed a house extension in London that is modelled on a Japanese tea house.

Elsewhere, the studio added an extension to a residence in Northamptonshire that incorporates the ruins of a 17th-century parchment factory and old cattle shed.

The photography is by Ståle Eriksen.

More images and plans

Ground floor plan of Filmmaker's house by Will Gamble Architecture
Ground floor plan
First floor plan of Filmmaker's house by Will Gamble Architecture
First floor plan
Birch plywood window frame
Interior of Filmmaker's house
Interior of Filmmaker's house
Interior of Filmmaker's house
Plywood shelving
White bathroom
White bathroom
Black zinc cladding
Black zinc cladding around picture window