Less is more in this East London house transformation
Whittaker Parsons creates House for a Doctor, a sensitive and contemporary conversion of a former corner shop into a house in Bethnal Green, East London
Most London home renovations involve dismantling or removing, whether it’s adding a nightclub and home gym to a Belgravia stucco heap or adding a kitchen extension to a Victorian red brick in east London.
Architects Whittaker Parsons took a different approach when converting a former mom and pop shop in Bethnal Green. The architects removed an inferior extension, replaced it with a courtyard garden (including a built-in bench and beehive) and set about making better use of less space in this east London home conversion.
Designed to accommodate three medical professionals in different shift (and WFH) patterns, the architects actually sacrificed six square feet of floor plan and instead focused on creating seamlessly connected work and living spaces that can be easily locked for privacy reasons.
House conversion in East London for flexible living
Whittaker Parsons, founded in 2015 by Camilla Parsons and Matthew Whittaker, strove to use salvaged and affordable materials whenever possible. The house now surrounds a new, light-flooded, double-height entrance hall, which is lined with raw plaster and realigns the original staircase. Existing floorboards were sanded and re-laid by hand, the steps and the structure of the stairs were carefully dismantled before being reinstalled. The new staircase offers additional storage space and space for a plywood-lined loo.
In the meantime, the architects have taken up existing dark green glazed tiles that shape the design of the new bathroom, kitchen and glazing and form a dramatic contrast to the raw plastered walls.
The architects, whose résumé includes the Gentle Monster London flagship store, have also improved insulation and energy use by adding new double-glazed wooden sliding windows and insulation in the floors, attics and masonry walls within this east London house conversion installed.
“The House for a Doctor project achieves more with less,” emphasize the architects, “and demonstrates that we can create sustainable urban houses that promote well-being through good design and careful construction.”