Vic and Tyson Benton are every sitting within the spot that feels most like dwelling: Vic on a built-in nook couch, Tyson on the eating desk underneath a slatted skylight. Their child twins are napping, their toddler is at nursery and in a vibrant, open-plan kitchen, eating and dwelling house – the center of this dwelling – they’ve been switching between work and lunch. The room, with a terracotta-tiled flooring that extends into the backyard, is cut up throughout two ranges, and the three dwelling areas revolve round a poured-concrete centrepiece, with a plant shelf on prime and a bookshelf under.
To the suitable is an prolonged kitchen island and the eating space; to the left, two steps lead as much as a lounge with a deep-red rug and comfortable seating. A big metal column and beam, painted a placing blue, type an arch via the center of the house. Timber ceiling trusses are left uncovered beneath a skylight: certainly one of them conceals a pull-down projector display screen. The house is joyful and vibrant. Hopeful, even.
Mushy gentle filters in from the entrance, again and overhead via leafy crops. Giant photographic prints dominate the white partitions, enlargements of pictures Tyson took on vacation in Sri Lanka. “We had been searching for a set of artworks for the room, then realised these photos have related crops and colors to what we’ve gone for,” says Vic. All through, the door handles are yellow, and a suspended metal staircase is painted the identical blue because the arch. It feels a bit of like an atrium on the Barbican Centre in London, or a modernist ranch home in Palm Springs. Besides we’re on the finish of a small Nineteen Sixties cul-de-sac in south London.
The Bentons purchased the home in 2016 once they determined to start out a household. “We had been searching for an end-of-terrace property the place you’ll be able to construct out sideways,” says Tyson. “And fortunately there wasn’t as a lot demand for barely dilapidated 60s homes as there was for barely dilapidated Victorian homes.”
Tyson grew up in London, the place his father was an architect and ran a constructing firm. “As a child, I spent my weekends on constructing websites,” he says. The couple met 12 years in the past when Vic lived close by, and now run a inventive manufacturing firm.
Their imaginative and prescient was to rework the two-bedroom home, with its small rooms and low ceilings, into an area massive sufficient to have household over for Christmas. It was a significant renovation that required an architect. They visited New London Structure’s Don’t Transfer, Enhance! exhibition in 2017 and preferred a design by R2 Architects. “After we met Frederik from R2, he drew his concept for us on a scrap of paper and it was these two interlocking homes – the present one in entrance and a more moderen, zinc-tiled extension behind. I used to be like, sure, that’s it!” says Tyson.
Huge design selections included creating continuity from the within out, daring splashes of color, and practical supplies equivalent to concrete and plywood. “We tried to not immerse ourselves too deeply in present developments, in any other case it might appear to be an avocado lavatory in 10 years – though I do fairly like these,” says Tyson. “Inside developments, there are at all times basic components, so we tried to search for these.” One among these was selecting brushed-steel faucets over black. The intense pops of color are impressed by the Nineteen Eighties design of Italy’s Memphis Group. “These colors aren’t significantly in style – the cobalt blue felt like a threat,” says Tyson.
The goal was for a sustainable construct with minimal waste and efficient insulation. An outdated hardwood staircase has been recycled as surfaces round the home. “A neighbour lately ripped their staircase out too and chucked the whole thing in a skip, so I went and saved it,” says Tyson. “I’m utilizing it to complete off our cabinets.” They’ve additionally used outdated fencing to create the shuttering (the short-term construction into which concrete is poured); now, once they take a look at the strains within the concrete options, the couple know they got here from outdated supplies inside the home.
For the greenery, Vic researched mid-century planting. “I realised numerous it was both tropical crops with massive leaves or formal-shaped bushes,” she says. “I like tree ferns and banana crops in order that’s what I went for.” Sadly, the twins hold digging them up. “We’ve put them up excessive for now,” she provides.
The Bentons’ home made the final 10 designs of the 2020 Don’t Transfer, Enhance! competitors. “We had been very proud to have the popularity,” says Tyson. Have they got plans for what to do subsequent? “No extra constructing work!” says Vic. “We’ll be right here for some time.”