This house is one of eight semi-detached, brick fronted houses built around 1870. As originally designed, an ornate double-hipped two-storey volume to the front contained the main reception rooms and bedrooms with a lower, two storey return to the rear and a further lean-to back pantry.
Since then at least five separate building campaigns have altered the rear and side of the house to keep up with changing domestic norms. Having raised a family in the house, the present owners decided it was time for an audit of all these accretions, and to make their first intervention to the building.
Many of the extensions had passed their serviceable lives, and the opportunity was taken to demolish these and reintroduce daylight into the side of the house.
The original ground floor plan was a trio of drawing room, dining room and kitchen (with circulation and a small study). In re-planning the house, we have re-established this, with a single, large garden room to the rear accommodating kitchen, dining, storage and seating areas around a fireplace. With previous extensions demolished, the garden now extends around the sides of the house.
Some time ago the original pantry was demolished to make way for a glazed conservatory across the two storey return. Developing this intent further we opened up the back of the house to the garden with a series of steel-framed portals. Facing almost due North, and recalling a seasonally inhospitable veranda, the new rear elevation was layered to provide some sense of threshold. The new room is lit by seven windows on three elevations, so as to mitigate against a stark northerly aspect.
A new zinc roof splits into two: a sloping section over the living area increases ceiling height, so that the room is consistent in scale with the main house. A lower roof, projecting beyond the large garden window, is supported on a series of light steel posts.