A mid-century home originally designed by British architect Trevor Dannatt has undergone a delicate restoration by north London architecture studio Coppin Dockray.
The 1960s home, named Hampstead House, has been completely refurbished by Coppin Dockray, transforming it into a spacious, thermally efficient home suited to the needs of the owners’ growing family.
Hampstead House is a British interpretation of California’s experimental case study house, originally designed to have a close relationship with Hampstead’s north-facing low-lying site.
This is one of the few private residences by the late architect Dannatt, best known for his work on the Royal Festival Hall, who also detailed the numerous staircases and glass screens in the entrance.
Surrounded by a grand Edwardian villa, the house forms a series of courtyards and rooftop views surrounded by lush gardens along the levels of the entire site.
However, over the years it had been poorly extended, developed serious structural problems, and its original elements were hidden by a dilapidated and dilapidated garden.
Coppin Dockley’s ambition for the overhaul was to streamline these changes and reflect Dannatt’s original vision. However, it was impossible to completely restore his design.
“There was very little insulation and the roof was failing,” studio co-founder Sandra Coppin told Dezeen. “Post-war buildings are notoriously fragile and thermally unstable.”
Coppin Dockray took a three-pronged approach to its proposal. First, we identified key aspects of the house that were important to preserve, such as the spatial ordering and materials of the building.
We then sensitively extended the home with clearly articulated additions, creating a larger home suited to our client’s needs. Finally, we aimed to significantly improve the building’s thermal comfort and energy performance.
The 1980s mansard was replaced with a new ground floor with an additional bedroom and study, and the ground floor extension was streamlined to strengthen the kitchen’s role as the heart of the home.
The studio carefully limited the choice of materials, combining the facade’s existing brickwork with black aluminum panels.
Hampstead House’s floor plan is divided into two wings connected by a hinged glass entrance. A large wing facing the public houses the dining room and kitchen, surrounded by custom sweet chestnut joinery and baffles under large roof lights.
Beyond that is the spacious living room, which is entirely made of glass and lets in light from three sides. Adjacent to a terrace and courtyard, it offers views of the newly landscaped garden.
Coppin Dockray was also responsible for updating the home’s interior design, sourcing a mix of vintage, bespoke and new furniture and fixtures to achieve a “homey, lived-in” feel.
Improving the building’s thermal performance was also a priority. The existing building was upgraded with new wood-framed windows, an insulated roof, floors, and walls.
“Each intervention considered a careful balance between the character and form of the building and the urgent need for improved energy performance and comfort,” Coppin said.
According to the studio, as a result of these interventions, the building’s annual carbon footprint has been reduced by approximately 59%.
Coppin Dockray is a London studio founded in 2012 by Coppin and Bev Dockray. Hampstead House is the latest in a series of architecturally significant modernist homes that have been restored to their former glory.
“We’re interested in buildings, especially exceptional post-war housing, and we spend a lot of time trying to understand as much as we can,” Coppin said.
Previous projects include the renovation of a modernist house by Danish architect Jørn Utsson, and a building called Ansty Plum, built in 1962 by architect David Levitt and featuring a studio designed by Alison and Peter Smithson. Includes housing.
Photographs are by James O Davies unless otherwise noted.