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Contemporary property in London: Mapledene Road

Mapledene Road-01-1 Kindesign

Mapledene Road house is situated in a conservation area in Hackney, London. The property had been stripped of virtually all its period features and had become run down and used as a “crack den” leaving it ripe for modernization. Refurbishment was conceived of as a landscape of interventions and new components by London-based Platform 5 Architects. The cellular ground floor was opened up and extended to the rear to allow the spaces to flow into each other and to the garden whilst the existing layout to the first floor was largely retained. Each room maintains an individual character giving a varied experience as you move through the house.

The kitchen and patio areas are unified by a power-floated concrete floor and London stock brick garden wall giving the internal space an external character. The existing flank wall has been removed and the kitchen is applied as a lining to the rough brickwork. A modern structural glass oriel window lined with cherry wood projects into the garden and juxtaposes with the Victorian bay that projects into the street. The expansive glass roof over the kitchen opens up the view to the sky; you can watch the planes fly over and the swifts catching flies.

Mapledene Road-02-1 Kindesign

Daylight is brought in from above to illuminate previously dark spaces, the walls, floors, roof, glazing and appliances have been upgraded to modern standards for insulation and efficiency. Overheating and glare in the kitchen is managed by shading from the surrounding buildings and trees, high thermal mass and the use of solar-control glass and blinds.

Mapledene Road-03-1 Kindesign

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Mapledene Road-06-1 Kindesign

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Mapledene Road-09-1 Kindesign

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Mapledene Road-11-1 Kindesign

Photos: Courtesy of Platform 5 Architects

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Modern hipness? You can almost hear the techno music in the background. Yawn. I think it may have looked better when it was a crack den. You have to give the designers credit for throwing in a few splashes of color, even though those colors are almost as ugly as anyone could imagine. I like the glass and the stone. They could have done a lot worse. If you love modern homes, I suppose it earns a passing grade. Hopefully the owners are young and hip.