The brief for this project was to design a ground floor extension to the rear of an existing large house in the Newnham area of Cambridge. The client brief was to provide a family dining / living space from the existing kitchen, connection to the garden was identified as being a key aspect of the design. The house had been extended previously with exposed reinforced concrete beams and columns obscuring the view into the garden. The house is on split levels and a design to bring these levels together in a unifying design was an absolute requirement.
In order to bring the levels together it was decided early on to take a straight horizontal roof line across the back, this resulted in the lower level having a generous ceiling level with a new set of steps up to the upper level loggia. In order to bring a good level of natural light into the darker parts of the plan a flat roof sliding roof-light is incorporated over the dining table.
In order to keep the roof edge of the horizontal line across the back as slender as possible we used a slim channel along the parapet. The new glazed elements run up to this channel giving the appearance of a slim roof build-up. At the lower level there is a cantilevered corner with corner glazed doors sliding into pockets to either side giving a completely fully open corner. As the house is south facing, a brise soleil covers the top part of the glazing to shade the glass when the sun is at its hottest, but also allowing lower level winter sun to enter deep into the plan.
The palette of materials and colors inside and out tie into the newly landscaped garden resulting in successful inside / outside spaces.
- YEAR: Completed in 2020
- LOCATION: Cambridge
- THE CLIENT'S VIEW:
“We were looking to extend the back of our kitchen/dining space from a cramped and dark spot, to open up to much more light, and living space, contiguous with the plans we had for remodelling the garden that the room looks out on. That said, we didn't expect to unearth the design we wanted so early in the process of interviewing architects, in part because we weren't sure exactly what we wanted, other than a look radically different to the one we already had. Emma very quickly drew up a couple of plans which were ambitious, and modern (in a period property), and aesthetically on point with our instincts. We were excited the moment we saw them. That was it. AP were appointed, not just to design the space, but to oversee the build. Emma handled the inevitable challenges with good grace, and humour, and professionalism. She also connected us with a garden designer who has revolutionised the space at the back of the house. We absolutely love the new space, and as a family with older children (adults, really) spend even more time in and around the kitchen, hanging out whilst we wait for life to get back to normal post-Covid. And the biggest compliment we have from friends who have seen it is not just the space and form, and aesthetic, but the radicalism of the design. It's cool, an adjective we don't normally ascribe to ourselves!"
- CONTRACTOR: RM Construction
- PHOTO CREDIT: Matthew Smith