Modern extension with stepped brickwork
Architect - Benjamin Powell Studio Manifest
Contractors - Evolutiv
Images - David Valinsky
Built in the 1990's, Breach House in Brockley London lies alongside the former Croydon Canal, which was a big driver for the development of this area. Architects Studio Manifest were tasked to enhance the overall character of this relatively modern terraced house, remodel the space and create an extension.
The new sustainable design is highly contemporary and features Ketley Staffordshire blue bricks which contrast with the light brickwork of the existing property. The architects were inspired by the history of the area and how the canal shaped that. They wanted to give context to their new extension as Benjamin Powell explains "We decided to focus on abstracting the physical qualities of a canal lock using intricate stepped brickwork to give the sense of depth and movement; playing with the levels of the house to create additional space and choosing a material palette that flows from inside to out. Our design uses stacked bricks to create a contemporary look with the steep back garden redesigned into 3 tiered levels reinforcing the lock-inspired design with the flow down the steps. " The architects create a flow into the new extension by using the same Ketley bricks down the steps. A feature kitchen window has stepped brick headers, also in a stack bond, almost giving a sense of ripples in water, whilst also creating shadows and providing an overhang to give some solar shading in the summer.
Staffordshire blue bricks and pavers have often been used in canalside settings since Victorian times due to their strength and durability. Their use here perfectly suits the context that the architect was keen to reflect. Ketley brown brindle quarry tiles on the steps and on the terraced area complement the scheme and provide a subtle contrast.