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Islington Mansard Extension, London.

We were asked to add a floor to this Islington townhouse. The new floor would accommodate a master bedroom, a master en suite, addressing room and a study. We were asked to make the spaces feel generous, well finished and for the bedroom and study to have a good relationship with the outside.


The building was located in a conservation area in Islington and the planners gave us three simple rules. Firstly, we can only add a floor by creating a mansard, to respect the original building. Secondly, we must use lead and slate to blend in with the other roofs in the area. Thirdly, any windows to the rear must be dormers and should follow the lines of the original windows below.


Using a mansard to create the new floor would allow a fantastic internal height, so we kept the volume open inside with a cranked steel structure and avoided the usual lowered ceilings that are prevalent with mansard roofs. We were also happy to use lead and slate, this was the most appropriate choice to blend the extension with the building and the environment. Whilst we were also happy to follow the window lines from the floor below to create a dormer window, planning said nothing about using the full width between the windows. We were able to work around the planning restrictions and create a rear dormer wide and deep enough to effectively become a balcony. This intervention has opened the bedroom and study to the outside with dramatic effect. The spaces are generous, tall and elegantly finished with the balcony truly transforming the interior space.


Construction was complete in 2005 and the main contractor was the late Chris Blunt.

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