Originally built in 1851, the four-storey, end-of-terrace house exemplified Victorian residential architecture in its compartmentalised layout and poor quality of natural light. Faced with such conditions, the design team set upon completely reconfiguring the internal layout keeping only the street facing façade intact in line with the area’s planning restrictions, which in effect meant demolishing the building and reconstructing it literally from scratch.
At the centre of the building, the architects have incorporated a slender light well extending down to the raised ground floor and an open staircase that goes all the way from the upper floors down to the lower ground floor and the new basement below, both of which have been conceived in sculptural terms and crowned by large frameless skylights. These two bold gestures enhance the fluidity of the vertically stacked living spaces and allow natural light to percolate throughout the core of the building as reflected in the project’s name. “The name Light Falls perfectly expresses the soul of the house”, explain the design team, “the cascading effect of daylight, brought in vertical motion to the centre of the building, enlivens the interior spaces and dissolves the borders between outdoor and indoor spaces”.
Visual connections between indoors and outdoors also abound, centred on an all-glass extension featuring panoramic sliding doors connecting the dining area and living room above with the terrace and garden on the back of the property.Echoing the sculptural geometry of the light well and staircase, the gently curved terrace accommodates a large walnut tree that dominates the landscaped garden, as do the organically shaped planters and serpentine footpath.