Studio McW turned to raw concrete to update a house in East London. Architects said the minimalist design drew inspiration from other concrete structures, such as a labyrinth home designed by Xavier Corbero in Catalonia, Spain.



Ahouse extension in East London became an exercise in geometry, when architects Studio McW started exploring options by using lines and surfaces in their search for the best fit within the existing context. Named 3 Planes for its geometric approach, the project is also a study in concrete, making the most of tactile, sculptural surfaces that envelope all the new spaces.

‘Taking into consideration the constraints of local planning policy, whilst utilising the opportunities granted by the existing conservatory and its (albeit dilapidated) volume, we were able to manipulate the form to respond to the client’s brief,’ explains Greg Walton, who set up the young studio in 2016 with David McGahon.

The scheme involves a rear extension, which is just the first phase in a longer-term, two-part expansion project. Now that works on that, located on the ground floor, are completed, the architects are about to begin reworking the top level and loft.When the client bought the property, it was in a state of disrepair.

Studio McW transformed it responding to the new owner’s desire for a wide, fluid space with a warehouse-style feel.The interior was opened up, using industrial materials, such as concrete, fair-faced block-work and dark metal. Now, the interior is defined by its light and shadow play, textured surfaces and response to human proportions, as well as views and privacy considerations.