Blend­ing Ge­or­gian and ul­tra-mod­ern

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

One of the grand­est Ge­or­gian squares in London is nowhere near Bel­gravia or Kens­ing­ton, but is miles fur­ther east, just off Mile End Road in Bow. It is a clas­sic gar­den square; the tall ter­race houses lin­ing each side are all beau­ti­fully pre­served, their sash win­dows, arched door­ways and rail­ings now pro­tected through the Tre­de­gar Square Con­ser­va­tion Area. In the cen­tre of the white stuc­coed ter­race on the north side is a metic­u­lously kept house with dou­ble doors and huge win­dows, set off with a clas­si­cal ped­i­ment and pil­lars.

But step through those dou­ble doors and you fast-for­ward through the cen­turies, to a fabulous con­tem­po­rary home with a huge glass atrium at the rear. It is full of stylish, 20th-cen­tury fur­ni­ture and art, but also care­fully high­lights the orig­i­nal ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures of each room. This is the spec­tac­u­lar re­sult of two ma­jor ren­o­va­tions by the cur­rent own­ers, each tak­ing 18 months and span­ning nearly 20 years.

“We re­ally wanted to live on this square, so when this house came up we bought it, even though it needed a lot of work,” says Michael Bren­nan, an oil and gas ex­ec­u­tive who was liv­ing nearby with his wife Pauline, a vol­un­teer NSPCC coun­sel­lor, and their young daugh­ter.

Back then, in 2001, the house was di­vided into a lower ground floor flat and three-storey house. The Bren­nans wanted to bring it back to one home, and ex­tend the lower ground floor to con­nect with the gar­den.

Cam­bridge ar­chi­tects 5th Stu­dio came up with a dra­matic de­sign for a dou­ble-height glazed ex­ten­sion, which in­volved re­mov­ing half the back wall of the house and erect­ing a steel frame to sup­port the glass, a job that took 18 months and £600,000. “It took a long time to get plan­ning per­mis­sion,” says Bren­nan. “And when the work fi­nally started we dis­cov­ered the house hardly had any foun­da­tions, it was just rub­ble un­der the base­ment.”

This meant foun­da­tions had to be dug at the back to sup­port the steel frame. The glass-roofed ex­ten­sion, along with the rest of the

Michael Bren­nan, who over­hauled his Ge­or­gian ter­race house

The back of the house has a dou­ble height glass atrium

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