An extension to a west London house provided a unique opportunity for Fraher Architects to showcase the existing structure while adding an impressive new feature. The clients wanted to add Eastern-influenced design to their living space, a choice that informed how the architects shaped the interior and manipulated the natural lighting.
The home’s most prominent feature is the new addition, attached to yet separated from the existing home by huge floor-to-ceiling windows. These windows gave the home its new name: The Lantern. When lit from the inside at night, it indeed glows like a warm, welcoming lantern. This visual separation allows the original structure to remain as it always has been while highlighting the modern addition.
An entire re-do of the interior was undertaken as well. As the home was a Locally Listed building, the architects were limited in how much they could change the exterior. Instead, as many Londonites are choosing to do, the clients built down by extending their home’s basement.
The rest of the interior was updated and made to look like an airy and open space fully connected with nature. The addition houses a four-story American Walnut wood staircase. The new staircase looks a bit like a tree growing up through the house to connect all of the separate-but-connected living spaces. At its base, the wood spreads out like roots onto the ceilings of the basement rooms and new underground two-car garage.
The hefty new central feature even incorporates hidden storage to keep the home tidy and maximize available floor space. At the top of the staircase, a study in the original structure looks out onto the flat glass roof of the addition, giving a view of the entire four-story staircase. All along the way, internal openings and uncommon spaces create the impression of interior courtyards coupled with an atrium, courtesy of the tall strips of glass.