Text description provided by the architects. A growing family refurbishes and extends their Victorian dwelling and coach house into a modern, light-filled family home. The budget demanded that a principle of practicality be applied to which period features to retain or modernise. One enters the house through the newly reinstated coach house doorway. By blocking the previous main door – now an external wood store – and with new sash windows, a clarity is brought to the previously confused street elevation. From the hallway, views through the existing house reveal the new airy open kitchen-dining space and the freshly landscaped garden beyond. By removing the wall dividing the dwelling and its adjoining coach house, the latter was amalgamated into the building’s main body, allowing for the reconfigured spaces to be as generous as the family requires. Towards the rear, large windows and roof-lights flood the heart of the house with natural light, with sliding-folding doors and a wide slot window in the kitchen further extending the internal spaces into the garden.
While being mostly finished to a modern style, existing features were retained where practical. Original floor boards were re-oiled and placed atop new under floor heating; at once efficiently adapting the house to modern standards, while establishing a dialogue with the building’s history. The extensive use of glass is continued into the upper floors with large picture windows bathing the bedrooms in light and framing views to the handsome garden. New roof-lights are designed to give maximum headroom in the loft, and internally, the frosted glass of the first floor ensuite allows daylight to penetrate further; indeed every bathroom benefits from some form of natural light. A new staircase leads to the luxurious master bedroom within a full width, zinc-clad dormer.
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this project was to create such attractive, generous, and light-filled spaces within a restricted budget. This was achievable thanks to a strong working relationship between the client and the design team; all working together to develop simple and elegant responses to a clear brief.