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  • Writer's picturenimtim architects

Green House featured in Real Homes September Issue

An extension with a tight budget, that through careful consideration and use of inexpensive materials radically alters how existing ground floor spaces are used for this creative family who love to cook.

A hyper-low budget extension to an Edwardian mid terraced house in Beckenham, South London. The existing house had a dysfunctional glass lean to/ conservatory that was too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.

This young creative family needed a functional, comfortable space that banished all the existing dark corners, however with a tight budget none of the existing services could be moved. nimtim proposed a small new addition, no more than a few square metres in size. This new space acts as a focal point for the existing spaces re-choreographing the way they work both independently and, crucially, in their interaction with one another. A new dining area is created with new lined openings giving better connection with the kitchen, the existing part of the house and the garden. A window seat forms a snug area overlooking the garden and double doors open out onto a new patio with an open pergola structure that will eventually have trailing plants over to provide shade. The kitchen was redesigned and a new small w.c. formed under the stairs.

The material palette was carefully considered and made up of predominately warm amber tones from the exposed accoya timber structure, plywood joinery and panelling to the cork flooring, creating a cosy and inviting yet contemporary space. The cork flooring is used to subtly mark a change in function where doors have been omitted, between the new kitchen dining spaces and the existing living area at the front of the house. The new kitchen brings the outside in with pale green doors and natural quartzite ‘moonrock’ worktops. New openings on the rear elevation are formed in green aluminium and frame the garden and the terrace beyond.

Bespoke shelving and a banquette were designed to store and display the family’s many collections, be they cookbooks, coloured glass or ceramics and along with their wooden and woven furniture make these new spaces perfect for rest and reflection.

“Our criteria was challenging. With a budget, we wanted to improve our 'dining/kitchen' set up, include access for our cat Weasel and withstand the knocks that might arise with children running around. In addition to this and perhaps most importantly, we needed a warm, natural space, that was unique to the rest of our period home. The result is beautiful, cosy and tactile."

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