The clients lived in the house for many years and intend to do so for many more. The existing house had a poor relationship to the rear garden. It did not make the most of the sunshine and light available at the rear of the house and the internal organization of the rooms did not support the day-to-day living and working life of the family. The brief also called for a home office and a ground floor sleeping room with its own fully accessible shower room.
The strategy was to remove the rear wall of the house and add a new volume containing a large open-plan kitchen and family toom, the new bedroom and shower room, and a terrace above. We wished to respect the strong A-profile of the roof of the existing house and to wrap this form to the side and rear with the new rooms. The new addition would also have a strong profile, formed by upstand rooflights which bring direct south and east light into the new living rooms and which also act as visual and physical barriers to the edge of the roof terrace.
The exterior of the new addition is clad in red, terracotta, “klinker” tiles. The color was selected to match the tones of the existing brickwork of the front of the house. One material is used to wrap up, over and around the new volume and the rooflights. We wished to use the minimum number of materials to the maximum effect in order to simplify the exterior expression of the building. Red terrazzo pavers, of the same colour tone, are used on the lower and upper terraces. The materials chosen ensure that the exterior feels warm and inviting, reflecting the hot sunny aspect of the first floor roof terrace.
Large, double-glazed teak windows are used throughout. The existing house was reinsulated and refurbished to bring it in line with contemporary standards. The new rooms connect easily to the existing house, the house orientating itself now to the rear garden and private terrace. The interior finishes are simple pale painted walls, oak floors throughout, and a white gloss kitchen with black marble worktop. The result is a direct and architecturally defined project, but one which extends and supports the existing house and the lives of those who have and will continue to live there.