Up & Down House

Interjected by points of ‘drama’, Urban Project Bureau’s ‘Up & Down House‘ creates a framework for spatial relationships within the extension and renovation of a Stoke Newignton residence.

Different scales of spaces, generous natural light, simple joinery and small openings create a distinctly balanced and calming space.

Enlivening and central to the space is UPB’s bespoke kinetic kitchen island, co-designed with the tech-enthused client. At the touch of a button, the kitchen island activates, raising and lowering its surface height to accommodate the multiple uses of the busy London family.

Architecturally, the unconventional approach to create a sequence of internal and external living spaces was pivotal to extending this Victorian terrace house. A central ‘podium’ negotiates a large level change between the existing building and the new extension, this series of plywood joinery elements creates ‘rooms-within-rooms’, merging habitable spaces between the main living, dining and kitchen areas. An internal window framing views between the front and rear of the house further unifies the spaces.

Breaking from the standard flat-backed extension, angled floor-to-ceiling glazing across the rear elevation is UPB’s reinterpretation of the traditional bay window found at the front of the house. As a threshold, it annexes internal and external dwelling ‘porches’ to the space.

The rear garden is conceived as an ‘outdoor room’, with brushed stainless steel cladding that catches the light and adds a sense of expansiveness to this tiny space closed in by a 4-storey wall. Subtle light and movement add to the sense of ‘drama’ through the use of outdoor carbon-fibre lights that sway in the breeze.

Up & Down House
Hackney, London
Completed, 2015–2016



UPB Team

Alex Warnock-Smith, Project Director
Paolo Pisano, Project Architect

Project Team

MBOK, Structural Engineers
Dimension Builders, Main Contractor
Kilian O'Sullivan, Photographer