The CLT House in Leyton, East London, is a sustainable renovation and extension of a mid-century terrace house. With an emphasis on eco-friendly design, the project, designed for a private client, features construction made from cross-laminated timber (CLT) that was fabricated off-site for quick assembly.
The clients, dissatisfied with their cramped, dark and disconnected ground floor, tasked Unknown Works with creating an adaptable space that would suit their family's creative pursuits and accommodate large gatherings.
For the interior, the architects constructed a spacious open-plan kitchen and dining area with reading alcoves and built-in seating. The CLT panels were left bare, as was the structural grid on the ceiling, creating a warm environment that works in harmony with the stainless steel kitchen and concrete floors.
The building's exterior is characterised by a bright yellow rear extension and front porch, creating a contrast between the old and the new. Rounded edges soften the yellow panels, whilst stainless steel rain chains are used instead of visible downpipes, creating a striking yet modest aesthetic.
The extension features skylights and large sliding doors that fill the space with light and connect the interior to the garden, whilst a new central courtyard links the extension to the existing house. The overall result is a unique and creative upgrade to a British terrace house, showcasing the studio's ability to elevate a standard construction material.
The twentytentyone team furnished the CLT House with a selection of contemporary furniture and accessories from the Finish design brand, Vaarnii. Made almost exclusively in Finnish pine, the natural materials of the range complement the exposed timber panels, further enhancing the warm atmosphere. Represented exclusively by twentytwentyone in the UK, Vaarnii made its international debut in 2021 at twentytwentyone's London Design Festival exhibition, Back + Forth.
Other design classics, including the Knoll Bertoia side chair, the Fritz Hansen Series 7 chair and the Muuto Leaf floor lamp, were supplied by twentytwentyone. With forms made either partially or wholly from metal, these products create a harmonious contrast with the CLT interior.
Unknown Works is a multidisciplinary creative studio based in London and Hong Kong, with projects ranging from architecture and urban design to exhibition design, installation art, graphics, and digital media. Their diverse portfolio reflects their interest in the human condition, cities, social and urban environments, and space distribution.
Design and Photography
Leyton, East London