Two Storey Terrace Extension

The brief was to design a rear extension to our clients’ Victorian terraced home, in conjunction with internal alterations, to create an open-plan kitchen, dining and family room. General improvements were to increase their enjoyment of the house, with a key aspiration to create a strong visual connection to the garden from the new internal spaces.

Key to the re-working of the house is the removal of the existing two-storey outrigger – a cold and unloved brick box to the rear – and construction of a new part single-storey, part two-storey extension. The new building fabric substantially improves the thermal performance of the house, and responds to the internal reconfiguration within.

The first floor extension becomes a new study with perfect equality; respective desks, shelves, and windows for him and her. At ground floor level, the kitchen, WC and utility are relocated to the centre of the house, with a flexible family / dining room orientated to the rear.

The extension is formed of three main materials: brick, timber and glass. The main volume is read as a timber box on a brick plinth, separated from the brick boundary wall by a large glazed pivot door. Brickwork is London stocks, reclaimed from the demolition works, and rainscreen cladding will be charred timber to compliment the stock bricks. The junction between these two materials is composed around a structural glass oriel window which projects from the rear façade and provides the family room with a generous window seat overlooking the garden.

To provide additional internal space and allow a clean run of kitchen units, the chimney breast at the heart of the house was completely removed at ground floor level. To enable this we worked with the structural engineer to incorporate steelwork to support the structure and brickwork above.

The structure of the extension, meanwhile, is formed with a timber frame, then over-clad with vertical strips of charred timber to provide a protective rainscreen. Charring the surface of timber - by an ancient Japanese technique known as Yakisugi - produces beautiful and long lasting cladding, that does not require maintenance. The black colour is also attractive and serves as an excellent backdrop for the planted garden.

Location: Ladywell, South London