The McGregor house occupies the shell of a semi-detached house in St John’s Wood, London. The original house was constructed with shallow extensions to the side and back walls. These have been linked at basement and ground floor levels to form a new space that contains a staircase. Both the lower and upper sections of the rear extension have glazed roofs. With its self-consciously lined interiors and meandering staircase, the parallels with the houses of Adolph Loos are more apparent in the McGregor house than in other projects. Most spaces are lined with door-height vertical panels of MDF and painted in a single colour. In positions where there may have been a structural corner in the original house, outward opening doors dissolve the corner into thin air. The vertical zoning of the house is reflected in changing floor finishes: terrazzo in the basement, natural oak on the ground floor and black oak on the floors above.

There were several components to the conversion process. A new steel structure, working with the outer walls, made it possible to create larger, structure-free, spaces at all levels. Two entirely new volumes, a sleeping platform and a dining pavilion, were located on the top floor and in the garden respectively, and connected with a running staircase. Finally, the space available within the outer shell was reoccupied using a system based on fixed and moving panels.

McGregor House

London, 2000
Project Description