Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - Our Home -

the plans passed. Now it is built, there is more green­ery than be­fore. Not only does a black­bird rum­mage for worms on the roof, but a bold robin comes most days to ad­mire him­self in the wall of mir­rored cup­boards at the end of the court­yard.

To form the cur­va­ceous roof around the yard, lay­ers of ply­wood were cut on a CNC ma­chine. The cou­ple as­sem­bled it them­selves, us­ing water­proof glue and sta­pling it to a frame made by a boat builder. The ve­randa runs down one side and across the far end, unit­ing house and court­yard, and is in con­stant use.

There were once five his­toric com­mu­nal loos at the end of the yard, which made it big­ger than other yards nearby. The cou­ple raised the back wall a bit for the roof to swoop from, and re­placed the lava­to­ries with mir­rored cup­boards that hold re­cy­cling, a bar­be­cue and gar­den tools.

When you cross the yard, you don’t no­tice the cracks be­tween the slabs. This is where wa­ter swirls up from, giv­ing the bliss­ful il­lu­sion of a pond. Rain­wa­ter col­lects in a long, nar­row tank that’s filled via a be­spoke pipe and gutter, ready to pump.

The ve­randa roof it­self is punc­tu­ated with stepped open­ings, which bring in light and add charm, es­pe­cially glow­ing up through the se­dum at night. Be­fore First flat in 1998: £230,000 Re­main­der of house bought bit by bit: about £700,000 Money spent: £235,000 ex­clud­ing all fees Value of house now: £2.75 mil­lion (es­ti­mate)


Ar­chi­tec­ture: by Anna Liu and Mike Tonkin at Tonkin Liu in Clerken­well (tonkin­liu.co.uk) En­gi­neer: Ro­drigues As­so­ciates (ro­drigue­sas­so­ci­ates.com) Land­scap­ing: by Tonkin Liu (as be­fore) Builder: Cam­den Car­pen­ters (cam­den­car­pen­ters.co.uk) Ply­wood: CNC-cut by Gryms­dyke Farm (gryms­dyke­farm.com) Plas­ter spe­cial­ist: Edgar Fer­nandez via Cam­den Car­pen­ters (as be­fore) Curved, dou­ble-glazed wall around the court­yard: by Can­tifix (can­tifix.co.uk) Glass stair­case: by Tim McFar­lane of Glass Light and Spe­cial Struc­tures (glasslim­ited.com) Pond-fill sys­tem: de­vel­oped by Tonkin Liu (as be­fore) Di­eter Rams’ clas­sic 606 Uni­ver­sal Shelv­ing: by Vit­soe (vit­soe.com) Blinds: hall­mark­blinds.co.uk Se­dum roof: sky-gar­den.co.uk a sky gar­den of se­dum and trees on the ve­randa roof at­tracts birds

the year-long build be­gan in April 2016, the cou­ple gen­tly ren­o­vated the whole house. One by one, they re­united the flats, re­did the plumb­ing and wiring, patched and limed the floors, re­stored cor­nices and re­paired shut­ters — a text­book restora­tion.

The va-va-voomed base­ment flat now has a sexy new sec­ond bed­room with a curv­ing back wall done in pine un­der the Sun Rain Room, and orig­i­nal tongue-and groove pan­elling and fire­place in its sit­ting room. The mix of old and new works well. It even has its own tiny court­yard.

This is a tale of two parts: con­ser­va­tive, feather-light restora­tion, en­hanced by bold­ness and dar­ing in the true spirit of the Ge­or­gians who built the house al­most 200 years ago. Yet chil­dren who glimpse the court­yard, obliv­i­ous to its tech­ni­cal dar­ing, just call it the house with a swim­ming pool — even though its depth would only take a tad­pole.

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