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The Brief:

Originally designed by Conibere Phillips Architects, Granit was appointed by a young couple to assist with appointing a contractor and managing the project on-site. Ultimately, the client’s brief was to create a unique home in terms of design and material choices. Whilst also creating a large space for entertaining with a strong connection to the garden.

Located within the Sibella Conservation Area, this Victorian end terrace property features a distinctive street frontage, whilst the rear presents a utilitarian appearance. The house had been heavily modified to create shared accommodation, so correcting this unsympathetic work was the driving force behind transforming the property.

The Solution:

Drawing inspiration from the existing rear elevation and outrigger, the property has been scaled and articulated as a pair of interlocking pitched roof volumes. The setback volume is fully glazed with a slim metal frame system, creating a visually lightweight partner to the solid, pale brick outrigger.

Tapered brick detailing forms a deep reveal to the end wall of the outrigger and provides a subtle presence that would otherwise be flat and with little interest. Natural light is drawn towards the deeper parts of the plan through a ridge roof light that sits adjacent to the existing main wall and extends 2.5m into the outrigger.

The ridge roof light is a characteristic feature of period homes, particularly on low-pitched roof additions such as workshops or kitchens. Timber-framed French doors and sliding windows are used on the outrigger to echo the volumes further apart. A black pigmented render forms a radical tapered fascia to frame the metal doors and draw views within.

Internally, green-painted Tee section steel fins line the ceilings and walls within the Dining area. Birch plywood panels have been discreetly fixed between the steels to help accentuate the pitched form of the roof whilst also adding a sense of warmth to the space.

The pale bricks are featured internally to help bring the outside in. Birch plywood has also been used to clad the ceiling above the kitchen and around the ridge roof light to help reduce the need for plaster. Recessed track lighting and LED tapes have been proposed to ensure a clean, uncluttered ceiling is achieved. Concrete effect tiles and micro-cement were added to the natural material palette to create a light and relaxing tone in the space.

Environmental Strategy:

With this project, we show how a Victorian property can be radically transformed with a substantially reduced environmental impact. The extension has been built with a high-performance envelope, achieving U-values better than that required by regulations.

Extensive glazing maximises daylight and reduces the need for artificial light, with integrated solar shading recognising the orientation of the extension. We have specified high-quality, sustainable Wienerberger Marziale bricks both externally and internally for longevity. We also used premium Grade B/BB Birch plywood sheets that produce a smooth and pale finish but are also environmentally friendly.

The micro-cement used for the kitchen worktop and splashback is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional concrete. And lastly, new LED light fittings, deemed the most energy-efficient lighting option available, are used throughout.

The Result:

“Picking a favourite part of the finished extension is very tough…but overall, it has to be the finished birch plywood wall and ceiling. We love how when the sunlight hits the plywood, it brings an extra sense of warmth to the extension, lighting up the different grains and bringing a stronger sense of connectivity to the garden and outdoors. Even on the many grey, wet English days, the ply helps the area to feel warmer, and we find it helps to create a calming atmosphere for cooking and relaxing.”

Key Suppliers:

Bricks – Wienerberger

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