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Letting the Light In: R2 Studio Remodel a 1960s Council House

Art critic John Ruskin once said, ‘the purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most.’ SEEN was therefore very intrigued by a remodelling that has taken place on the Delawyk Estate in Herne Hill. R2 Studio, famous for their use of bright colour has remodelled a Delawyk Module House, creating a bright and playful interior for the residents – a young family with two children.

It has proved to be such a popular initiative that other residents on the estate are following suit. The houses on the estate are mostly private now, thanks to the government’s right-to-buy scheme.

This project is one of the 24 shortlisted home improvements for the New London Architecture’s ‘Don’t Move, Improve’ competition. The overall winners will be announced at The Building Centre in London on 26th January 2017.


Photograph by Julia Hamson


R2 Studio extended the entrance to the house to add an extra six square metres. Floor to ceiling windows and a skylight were added which let the light in, while retaining privacy. R2 Studio then enhanced the interior with their trademark bold colours. The object was to create modifications of quality that are consistent with the original architecture.


The oak floor was darkly stained, contrasting nicely with the yellow kitchen units and custom orange splashback tiles. The light fittings in the kitchen are by Joe Colombo, while red dining chairs and a bench draw inspiration from Robin Day’s Polo chair. The Lounge is painted white to maximise reflection, with burnt orange curtains hung at the window to create a frame for the patio garden.


In a surprising contrast to the rest of the house, the bathroom has grey and white hexagon mosaic tiles on the walls and floor, and an inset sink that cleverly makes more space in the room. The effect is harmonious and uplifting. John Ruskin would have approved.


Photography by Frederik Rissom unless otherwise stated.

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