Text description provided by the architects. AR Design Studio, an award-winning RIBA certified contemporary architectural practice based in Winchester, Hampshire, recently completed a highly innovative single-storey modern extension to a 3-bedroom house in North London. The finished property, Elm Court, retains its humble street appearance, yet is completely transformed from its previous gloomy atmosphere, with the new modern extension creating a light, airy and open living environment.
The recently retired owners sought to adapt the existing small and cramped property into their perfect home. The brief was to design a single storey contemporary extension at the rear of the existing property, linking in with the original, whilst making minimal physical changes. The open-plan extension was to comprise of a new kitchen, dining/living space, utility room, cinema room, WC and office area; with the aim to bring views of the garden and more light into the property.
“At AR Design Studio we are particularly interested in the relationships between inside and outside spaces, between the man-made and nature,” states lead architect Mike Ford. “The owners could see the potential to completely revive the feel and functionality of this home using the tight site as the parameter for an interesting design approach. The result completely transforms the feel and atmosphere of the existing property.”
The architectural concept is rooted in uniting the house with the garden and positively affecting the interior feel of the original property, whilst making minimal physical changes. The solution was to have a wall running through the entire home. This physical wall acts as an axis of movement, guiding you through the house, from old to new. It also draws the eye through the space and out to the garden providing a physical inside/outside link. The wall breaks down as it dissects the contemporary extension, defining smaller, more intimate spaces, whilst still retaining the feeling of togetherness evident in open-plan living. (link to another property in portfolio with open plan living)
As the wall reaches into the garden it projects through the large glazed doors, which can be opened completely. These allow sunlight to flood through the open-plan space and filter down gradually into the original property, creating beautiful shards of light. A flush threshold allows the tiled floor finish of the interior to continue out onto the patio, creating a seamless link between inside and outside.
The entire contemporary extension is highly insulated to improve the sustainability credentials of the house. In addition, an efficient fireplace is located centrally to the space for localised heating, with under floor heating running throughout the ground floor. This provides a comfortable and efficient environment to live in. Elm Court is now a perfectly balanced modern working home, bursting with traditional values, contemporary style and innovative design, all within a very modest sized property.