In a Modern London Addition, Books Come First by

Issue 56 · In the Library · January 23, 2013

In a Modern London Addition, Books Come First

Issue 56 · In the Library · January 23, 2013

The homeowners of a remodeled London townhouse gave their books pride of place, but still managed an appealing (book-free) kitchen addition and a built-in den for their cat.

Spotted on Dezeen; London-based Platform 5 Architects led a Victorian townhome remodel in Hampstead, whose owners flaunt an impressive and growing collection of books. They wanted their tomes at the heart of their home, and Platform 5 obliged with a double-height built-in bookshelf wrapped around a modern staircase, sacrificing two rooms in the process. But the rest of the home was not neglected: A kitchen addition now lures the bookworms outdoors to the garden, and the kitty-in-residence even got her own private niche.

Photography by Alan Williams courtesy of Platform 5 Architects.

London townhouse with full height bookshelf wall pale Oak wood

Above: The owners forfeited a first -floor bedroom and entertaining room in favor of a double-height library to house their extensive book collection.

Bookshelf wall staircase addition in London townhouse of pale Oak wood

Above: The fireplace at left is one of the many period details the owners elected to keep.

London townhouse with oak bookshelves and built in home office and desk

Above: The winding stair leads to a small office sited over the ground floor, which reaps light from a clerestory garden window.

Oak staircase in London townhouse full height bookshelf wall

Above: Books rest on stair treads at the bottom of the staircase before the oak bookshelves begin to climb the walls.

Built in bookshelf wall in London townhouse with Tom Dixon tall beat lights

Above: Three Tall Beat Lights from UK designer Tom Dixon hang above the dining table.

Tom Dixon beat lights tall in black with brick party wall and Oak addition in London townhouse

Above: The architects expanded the existing kitchen at the rear of the house by adding an oak rib-and-skin structure to adjoin the brick parting wall.

Tom Dixon tall beat lights in modern London kitchen with brick wall and eat-in kitchen

Above: The kitchen extension added some additional shelving; this time for art, not books.

London townhouse modern addition with L-shaped reading nook and concrete countertop

Above: A built-in seat with corner glazing offers a prime spot for reading indoors while enjoying the garden.

Concrete kitchen island in modern addition to London townhouse gray and white palette

Above: Concrete floors and a concrete kitchen island complement the warmer tones of brick and oak used throughout the home.

Modern and Victorian details together in London entryway remodel

Above: A Victorian cornice, antique doorbell, and ornate chandelier supplement modern features like a rolled steel handrail and modern stair trim.

Built in space for cat in London townhouse remodel kitty litter cat nook

Above: With a built-in den all to herself, Kitty doesn't know how good she has it (though her owners probably do).

Indoor outdoor living in London townhouse remodel with white orange and brick walls

Above: A pivot-hinged steel door opens fully to create an indoor/outdoor living experience (a rarity in London).

London townhouse with modern garden for indoor outdoor living

Above: By bringing the brick parting wall into the interior of the home, the architects created visual continuity between the dining room and garden.

Looking for more inspiration? See 378 images of rooms with books in our gallery of rooms and spaces.

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