Floating Glass Corner
We started work on this project as our clients were buying the house. It was a great property that backed on to Richmond Park. But the place had a tired conservatory on the back that our clients wanted to take down, and the house was in need of a lot of work. Key to the project was to update and extend the ground floor to create a modern family home.
The structure of the house was opened a new extension with a ‘floating ‘ glass corner added to the rear. The layout was re-configured and large openings created within the new spaces. This connected the house with the garden and gave a sense of seamless opening between inside and out. The large openings and roof lights lets lots of light into the space and creates an external courtyard like patio space for dining outside. The house enjoys great views of Richmond Park which the extension design maximises by opening up the rear.
To ensure planning permission the design was carefully planned to strike a balances between size of extension and a sensitive response to the site. The extension roof steps down to a lower height at the boundary. This reduces the impact of the size of the extension and avoids overly encroaching on the neighbours amenity. While away from the boundary the roof is much higher, giving a fantastic ceiling height and a feeling of space.
To complement the views of Richmond Park from the first floor a green roof was used over the extension. The roof finish is Sedum grass that blooms vibrant red and green tones in the Spring. It looks great from the bedrooms on the first floor, as well as reducing energy use due to the high thermal mass. Plus it also adds to the bio-diversity.
Our clients loved the character of the original house – it was one of the reasons they were buying it – and so it was important to reflect this in the architectural design. Original London yellow stock bricks were used for the walls that were reclaimed from a building of the same period. The design also uses the same reclaimed brickwork internally to add warmth to the new interior spaces. Up-Down wall lights pick out the texture of the brickwork, adding more character, especially at night.
Glass Roof Lights
A key part of the design was to feed lots of light deep into the interior. Two very large roof lights bring lots of natural light to the spaces. They also act to dramatically heighten the floor-to-ceiling height and as single large pieces of glass provide unbroken views of the sky. The reveals of the rooflights have up-down lights mounted on the them to accentuate them as a feature at night.
With this much opening up of the back of the original house the structural engineering design for the extension was very important. We merged the structural engineering and the architectural design by using a structural fin wall to divide the space between the kitchen and the dining room. The concrete was cast and polished on site as a feature of the design.
The kitchen was designed to sit towards the back of the newly extended space so that it had easy access to the utility room and garage. Then the kitchen itself was flown in from Germany, along with a team of fitters, taking just 3 days to complete installation on site. Due to the precision of the design, unlike most installations, the worktop was installed at the same time and did not need to be templated and fitted at a later date.