In a city as old as London, it can be a challenge to refurbish buildings to suit modern ideals for living without getting the good people at council’s knickers in a knot. Gundry and Ducker have built a terrace extension to this Victorian terrace house in London, Wandsworth, that adds usability for the modern era. What’s more is that they have won the joint first prize at the NLA “Don’t move, Improve!” awards for this extension.

Using a black and white palette we’re more accustomed to seeing in Japanese architecture, a previously unsightly and disused yard has been given a new lease of life with this burnt larch extension. While burnt and aged larch is a bit of a fad at the moment, it’s beauty and practicality makes us wonder why it has taken so long to come around. Upon entering the property, one is immediately greeted with a long view all the way to the back of the yard. By glazing the entire rear wall of this residence, painting the kitchen in brilliant white and the addition of a light well where the extension meets the old building; the architects have made a dark and dreary part of the properly the new center of living. Beautiful views to the garden at the rear will surely draw residents away from the TV and into the kitchen. The unattractive old garden has been decked and the old fencing hidden with larch, creating a room open to the sky.

While the extension is refreshingly different from the original building, they do not compete with each other. They rather work together to create a place full of charm and beauty, while at the same time being a pleasure to live in.