The client had not refurbished the house since its purchase ten years previous. During this period it had suffered from years of student occupation and was tired. The upper floors were bowed, there were signs of subsidence, the house had never been decorated and only one bathroom served a four-bedroom house.
Key to the client’s requirements was a provide a large fully equipped kitchen to cater for and entertain their friends. Located to the rear of the house the original kitchen just wasn’t big enough and suffers from a lack of daylight. The rear garden is small but it is West facing and well positioned for bright sunlit afternoons.
The proposed rear extension was configured as a full width glazed extension to maximise on space and light. A frameless glazed roof-light was added to the full length of the new side extension and terminates at the garden with a projecting window seat. The window seat is a key design feature to the new kitchen and forms a focal point within the bright modern kitchen and avoids a mundane folding/sliding door design solution typical to many side and rear extensions.
Subtle alterations have been made to remove a few irritations that the client has endured over the years. On entering into the house, the reception wall has been cutback to remove a tight pinch-point where the stair meets the rear lounge space. The front and rear lounge has been reconfigured as an open plan arrangement with the removal of the structurally supporting separating wall between the front and rear lounge rooms. Essential to the brief the kitchen remains separated from the main body of the house with large glazed pivot doors which allows the sunlight to enter the middle of the house and avoids cooking aromas filtering up through the house. The room layout of each floor to the house configuration remains essentially as originally intended with living rooms on the ground floor with bedrooms to the upper floors. The existing stairwell balustrade has been replaced with a full height frameless glass wall, which widens the lounge and opens into the new basement and upper floors. To the upper floors each bedroom has been provided with dedicated bespoke wardrobe and storage solutions. A new study-room has been added and the existing master bathroom has been refurbished. The top floor is meant for guests and a new guest shower-room has been added. By locating the new shower-room on the top floor landing it avoided compromising valuable bedroom floor space. This often under utilised space provides a simple design solution for sanitary provision right at the top of the house.
In addition to the rear extension works and full house refurbishment there was an opportunity to provide a low-engineered basement solution. Many basement floor conversions require costly underpinning to provide an additional floor to the house. A simple low-engineered structural solution was developed by forresterarchitects and the structural engineer providing a foundation solution which avoided costly underpinning. Several basement configurations were costed to determine the most appropriate use of space. The client confirmed the need for a partial basement floor conversion as the most cost effective solution. The new basement provided 75% of the full floor plate achieved on the ground floor with a respectable floor to ceiling height of 2.4m achieved. The new basement provided a dedicated storage and utility space. As is typical with this house types there is never enough adequate storage provision. The additional storage space was added without compromising the new configured kitchen or the valuable bedroom space to the upper floors of the house.
A simple monochromatic palette has been adopted throughout the house with the fixtures and fittings providing flashes of colour. The palette provides the most suitable neutral backdrop for the client’s extensive art collection.
A full architectural services was provided by forresterarchitects.