St Albans Bungalow Conversion

A reimagining of a suburban 1960’s bungalow into a unique and modern family home, characterised by a playful use of natural materials, tall light-filled spaces and integrated plywood storage to showcase the clients’ African art, fashion and record collections.

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The clients, a bold couple in their 50’s, looking to downsize from their large London townhouse to a simpler way of life in St Albans; wanted the bungalow to feel as spacious possible. Rather than extend the footprint, Cherry Architects proposed exposing the roof line to create a double height space in the centre of the house. While not being any larger in size, this created a perception of space.

To maximise the limited floorplan, Cherry Architects sought to remove as much of the original hallway as possible so that the space could be better used to increase the size of the habitable rooms. This meant relocating the original central entrance hall to the garage at the side of the bungalow. Whilst the previous entrance was modest and hard to read, we used a change in materiality (larch & aluminium) to draw eyes towards the new feature entrance.

An open-plan layout, the living room and kitchen operate together as one space for large gatherings and independently when the glazed sliding doors are closed. Large areas of aluminium-framed glazing allow the clients to look outwards towards the St Albans countryside throughout the whole living area.

‘The main bedroom suite is ceremoniously entered by a beautifully crafted plywood staircase.’

 3 bedrooms are tucked away downstairs through a private door next to the stairs, whilst the main bedroom suite is ceremoniously entered by a beautifully crafted plywood staircase; a panoramic screen in the birds nest of a dressing room provides views down into the double height living area and outwards through the adjacent rooflights towards the St Albans countryside and to London beyond.

Externally, the bungalow conversion has been completely modernised with white render and timber cladding to the loft dormer, utility room and to the new entrance.