Hyde + Hyde refurbishes Quatrefoil House in North Oxford
Architectural studio Hyde + Hyde Architects takes over the refurbishment and extension of a large gothic revival house in North Oxford. Located in the British Victorian Suburb Conservation Area, the original 1870s townhouse undergoes a restoration and complete renovation of the interior, as well as a new contemporary and contextualized addition to the volume. Remodeling the existing building to create a comfortable residence, the project arranges a five-bedroom layout in the property and a lower level serving as an entertaining space feeding into a secluded garden. The design prioritizes the historical background of the building while celebrating the present in a detailed approach to proportions and materials. The expansion forms a glasses box-like formation featuring quatrefoil tectonic tiles in bronze and steel textures amplifying the original brick .
all images by Martin Gardner
solid and void interplay defines the remodeled architecture
The design team at British Hyde + Hyde studio explores the ornament’s potential to complement and refine the existing structure, while, also, experimenting with the relationship between solid and void. A lightweight, glazed rear extension prominently pushes out of the building’s original footprint contrasting the brickwork of the existing townhouse. The expanded volume is supported by a singular concrete column that borrows its form from an inverted Gothic window and contributes to a carefully composed collage of references to the local context. Drawing from the architectural language of the property and Oxford’s historic townscape, including St Mary Magdalen Church, quatrefoil tectonic tiles in bronze and steel feature externally, resulting in a striking facade motif.
Apart from restoring the structure and renovating the interior, the architects craft 90 bespoke components including a bridge, door handles, custom beds, and furniture. The custom-made central staircase links the four levels introducing light deep into the plan through the voids below and adjacent to it, and creating a triple-height, open-plan ground floor. The existing spaces reconfigure to improve circulation, retaining their historic, intimate formality. The living room and kitchen-diner are separated by these voids but visually connected through transparent walls shaping a comfortable common central area.
the expanded volume is supported by a singular concrete column reminiscent of an inverted Gothic window
the townhouse built in the 1870s puts up a brick framework