Step House | Bureau de change architecture

| 19 : 30 – 8 June 2018 |


Living room, Brickwork interiors, Step House, London


Step House, a traditional building located in London gets a unique brick extension by UK based Bureau de Change architects. 

The extended home boasts a staggered and extruded brick form that appears to be pulling away from the building. The extended home now features stepped forms in reclaimed exposed brickwork seeking sculptural expression. The rhythmic stepping reflects in the interior home layout with kitchen space being brought to the forefront. The designers also flipped the standard layout, which helped the relocated kitchen to be more lively and heart of the home. Close work with the structural engineers, the reorganized home is an entirely column-free space due to newly introduced laser-cut double-direction stepped beams.

London homes, Brick homes, Step house

Aerial view of the rear side garden brickwork extension

From the Architects – 

Bureau de Change have reimagined the conventional terraced-house extension for a home in North London with an innovative addition that both celebrates and elevates the humble brick.

Katerina Dionysopoulou, Co-Founder of Bureau de Change explains: ‘Instead of the more expected glass structure, we looked to the brick and its inherent potential as a stackable module to create a far more sculptural material expression. Using bricks reclaimed from the fabric of the house, we exploited the rights of light diagram to create a staggered, extruded form that appears to melt away from the existing structure.’

Aerial view, Step house, rearside garden, Brick extension

Rhythmic stepped extruded brickwork

This rhythmic stepping generated by brick is echoed throughout the interior, and is integrated in both plan and section of the extension. Viewed from the terrace above, the form creates an attractive silhouette – a feature rare in more straightforward additions. Inside, Bureau de Change’s characteristic dramatisation of space comes into play with a careful sequencing of spaces – transforming the expansive ground floor into a journey through carefully designed ambiences.

Exposed brickwork on wall, View of the garden, Step house

The renovated living space overlooks the garden 

Interior layout – 

[bctt tweet=”The standard layout has been flipped, with kitchen taking its new place at front of house – an often underused, forgotten space.” username=”adesignw”]

Here, the original features of the house are retained, emphasised by dark colours and material tones. Moving onward, the spaces unfold in a sequence from dark to light – intensifying the bright, voluminous feel of the addition. In the centre, the dining room is marked by change in floor treatment. Narrow timber planks with aligned seams transition between the smooth concrete of the kitchen and roughly grained concrete of extension. A light-well ensures the full depth of the plan is bright, and provides a moment of pause within the interior. Here, where faceted glass meets stepped brick, the geometry of the concept is accentuated.

Rough concrete counter, Golden metallic sinks

Rough grained concrete counter

‘We worked closely with the structural engineers to create an entirely column-free space’, explains co-founder Billy Mavropoulos. ‘The structure was achieved using laser-cut, double direction, stepped beams that give the sensation that the brick addition is floating. This concept was integrated into the design in conjunction with the engineers from the start
– working hand-in-hand to create the appearance of a first floor that is sunken into the extension.’

Kitchen storage, Dining counter,wooden flooring

Change in flooring material marks new spaces

For Bureau de Change, the notion of using a common-place material, such a brick, in an unexpected way is a motif that can be seen across much of their work. In the case of the Step House, the brick, left exposed inside and out, is celebrated in a way that respects the existing house while clearly departing from the traditional language of the historic architecture.

Stepped brick pattern, Step House, London

Extruded brickwork pattern

Project details :-


Project Name – Step House

Architect Firm – Bureau de Change |

Project location – London, United Kingdom

Lead Architects – Billy Mavropoulos, Katerina Dionysopoulou

Project type –  ResidentialFamily house, Renovation

Completion Year – 2018

Photography Credit – © Bureau de Change Architects

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