A small double height extension uses light filtered from the canopy beyond to unlock this formerly dark and unloved space to create a warm, connected home.
We always grapple with how to create living spaces that are connected but articulated: that can create a sense of open-ness and also intimacy. On this project, the clients wanted their 1970s townhouse to have a better connection to the rear garden and for all of the living spaces to feel bright and connected. The solution is a double height space behind a new glazed wall that allows an extraordinary quality of light filtered through the surrounding canopy to flood into the kitchen and dining spaces at ground and a living room at 1st floor
The existing house had a first floor living space that was bright and open but a ground floor that was dark, cold and unusable for much of the year. Low ceilings typical of the period also emphasised a feeling of darkness and there was a lack of connection with both the garden and the street.
The proposal created a new bedroom on the first floor and a dramatic new living space over ground and first floor connected via a double height behind a glazed screen. This screen is articulated in pale gold glazing that is sympathetic to the existing brickwork but also confidently of its time.
The additional space is created through a modest extension at ground and unlocking existing space by rationalising the existing layout. This dramatic reinvention is thus achieved through modest and low impact interventions. Materials are simple and respond to environmental context - therefore glazing is solar treated and automatically opens or closes according to environmental conditions.
“Before renovating, we rarely used the ground floor of our house. It was cold and dark, the layout made little sense for us, and we felt disconnected from the garden. Now, with the small extension and extensive reconfiguration, we feel like we've gained the use of a whole extra third of our house. Our favourite part has to be our open plan living area with double height space. Both floors are now flooded with light, and have a lovely sense of space and connection to the garden.”
The project was longlisted for the NLA: DMI Awards 2021