From the street, the Clerkenwell home of architects Anna Liu and Mike Tonkin in North London is undistinguished from the adjoining late Georgian houses. But enter inside and it’s a whole different story where white idiosyncratic interiors give way to a retro-futuristic back yard. Called the Sun Rain Room, the extension is both a lush garden and a sun room where vegetation, water and light come together in a lyrical space of shifting reflections.
Twenty years in the making, (that’s right 20 years!) the house where Liu and Tonkin now live and work, encapsulates the holistic approach of their architecture practice, Tonkin Liu, which looks to nature as inspiration for technical innovation, sustainability, systems integration and the careful curation of light.
Once divided into flats and bedsits, and seriously run down, the entire house came into Liu and Tonkin’s ownership overtime with the last acquisition being the basement flat, finally allowing them to build the Sun Rain Room and to connect it with a new basement extension underneath, talk about patience.
Conceived as “a good place to be on a bad day”, the Sun Rain Room, as the name suggests, takes advantage of the shifting weather for both practical and aesthetic purposes.