Room with a View

A strik­ing glazed ex­ten­sion makes a bold ad­di­tion to an Ed­war­dian listed house in Aberdeen­shire, re­plac­ing an old, leaky con­ser­va­tory and show­cas­ing the gar­den views

Homebuilding & Renovating - - Contents - Words Caro­line Ed­nie Pho­tog­ra­phy David Bar­bour

An Ed­war­dian house in Aberdeen­shire is trans­formed by a dra­matic glazed ex­ten­sion, which makes the most of the views

The Ar­chi­tect’s View

Nikki Ritchie of Hyve Ar­chi­tects: “The de­sign was de­vel­oped to an­swer the home­own­ers’ brief for a re­place­ment gar­den room as well as ad­dress other is­sues with the ar­chi­tec­tural qual­ity of the orig­i­nal build­ing and the way in which the home­own­ers used the spa­ces inside.

“Planning per­mis­sion and listed build­ing con­sent were needed, and I had a pre-ap­pli­ca­tion dis­cus­sion with the con­ser­va­tion team be­fore sub­mit­ting the ap­pli­ca­tion, and they were sup­port­ive of the de­sign. At planning ap­proval, as a planning con­di­tion we had to sup­ply very de­tailed con­struc­tion draw­ings of the project, as the planning depart­ment wanted to en­sure high qual­ity.

“The new ex­ten­sion is de­signed as a con­tem­po­rary ad­di­tion that con­trasts with the tra­di­tional form of the ex­ist­ing build­ing. We’re pleased to have achieved some­thing con­tem­po­rary on the front el­e­va­tion of a listed build­ing. I think it shows that you can be bold but sen­si­tive.

“The in­ter­nal al­ter­ations have al­lowed light to flood into the once dark kitchen and the clients now en­joyus­ing all the liv­ing spa­ces to the full.”

De­spite the ob­vi­ous charms of liv­ing in a grand Ed­war­dian ba­ro­nial-style house in an el­e­gant Aberdeen­shire sub­urb, the Lewis fam­ily had some reser­va­tions about how the house was work­ing for them. Fol­low­ing a re­cent kitchen re­fur­bish­ment, the fam­ily barely used any of the main liv­ing ar­eas, choos­ing in­stead to spend most of their time in the new kitchen sit­u­ated at the rear of the prop­erty.

Ini­tially the cou­ple were look­ing to re­place a tired old con­ser­va­tory that leaked heat. “It was not a place where we could sit and en­joy the gar­den,” the Lewis’s ex­plain. “Our ini­tial brief was to re­place this with a new gar­den room, suit­able for use through­out the year, and with good ac­cess and views to the gar­den. We had seen a curved ex­ten­sion that ar­chi­tect Nikki Ritchie [of Stone­haven-based Hyve Ar­chi­tects] pre­vi­ously de­signed on a house in Aberdeen and we liked this idea.”

How­ever, when Nikki Ritchie met the cou­ple she was keen to look at the big­ger pic­ture. “I al­ways ask clients what does and does not work for them about their home and it be­came ap­par­ent that the fam­ily didn’t ap­pear to use the main liv­ing ar­eas,” she ex­plains.

“So af­ter some dis­cus­sions, the brief was ex­panded with a view to mak­ing the whole house work bet­ter for the fam­ily.” Re­plac­ing the ex­ist­ing con­ser­va­tory wouldn’t be with­out its chal­lenges, as it was lo­cated on the front el­e­va­tion of a Cat­e­gory C Listed build­ing. How­ever, Nikki Ritchie has ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in be­spoke ex­ten­sions and re­fur­bish­ments in the area, and she was not fazed by such a task.

Fol­low­ing a se­ries of in­for­mal pre-planning dis­cus­sions with the con­ser­va­tion team in the lo­cal planning depart­ment, Hyve Ar­chi­tects’ bold con­tem­po­rary de­sign emerged. “Plan­ners are gen­er­ally sup­port­ive of putting a con­tem­po­rary ad­di­tion onto tra­di­tional build­ings,” says Nikki. “In many ways, it’s a pre­ferred op­tion as it makes the build­ing easier to read in terms of what is ex­ist­ing and what is new — it’s far more hon­est.”

In order to pro­vide the light-filled space the fam­ily re­quired, the new ‘gar­den room’ is heav­ily glazed to of­fer spec­tac­u­lar views to the gar­den and be­yond. Rooflights have been po­si­tioned to achieve max­i­mum light into the liv­ing spa­ces. The rooflights were also de­signed to al­low a per­son to walk over them (in the event of a fire, the mas-

“The brief was ex­panded with a view to mak­ing the whole house work bet­ter for the fam­ily”

ter bed­room escape route will be pro­vided over the glass).

On site, the 18-month con­struc­tion in­volved a fair amount of pre­ci­sion en­gi­neer­ing, par­tic­u­larly in terms of the steel frame struc­ture. “It’s a com­pli­cated shape and took a lot of think­ing on our part to work out the de­tails,” says Nikki Ritchie. “Orig­i­nally we in­tended to have rooflights that would open but glaz­ing spe­cial­ists Gray and Dick rec­om­mended that this wouldn’t be pos­si­ble due to the shal­low­ness of the 10° roof pitch.”

At ap­prox­i­mately 50m2, the new ex­ten­sion is smaller than the old con­ser­va­tory. This was quite de­lib­er­ate, in order to fully ex­pose the east tower that had pre­vi­ously been ob­scured. The roof height of the ex­ten­sion has also been kept low so that the scale of the orig­i­nal build­ing is em­pha­sised. The ex­ter­nal walls and roof are clad in zinc, which was cho­sen as a high-qual­ity, durable ma­te­rial with a hand-crafted ap­pear­ance. It was also cho­sen for its grey colour — chim­ing with the slate roof and stone fea­tures of the ex­ist­ing house. To im­prove the lay­out of the ground floor, three new open­ings have been in­tro­duced to ad- dress the sense of flow be­tween rooms: an open­ing be­tween the liv­ing room and the new ex­ten­sion, as well as two new open­ings lead­ing from the kitchen to the liv­ing spa­ces via frame­less glass doors.

In­ter­nally, the orig­i­nal fin­ishes didn’t suit the cou­ple’s mod­ern tastes. They de­cided to re­tain cer­tain pe­riod fea­tures such as the dra­matic full-height doors be­tween the liv­ing and din­ing rooms as well as the chan­de­liers and orig­i­nal par­quet floor­ing, which has been sanded and fin­ished, while in­tro­duc­ing new fea­tures such as the fire­place in the liv­ing room and con­tem­po­rary pieces of fur­ni­ture, some of which were picked up on the cou­ple’s ex­ten­sive trav­els.

Fol­low­ing com­ple­tion of the project, the new gar­den room and re­mod­elled ground floor lay­out has had a huge im­pact not only on the space, but in the way that the fam­ily now use the whole house.

“When the kids have friends over they tend to con­gre­gate in the new gar­den room,” the cou­ple con­clude. “It’s a great place to just sit and look at the gar­den. With the pre­vi­ous con­ser­va­tory you couldn’t re­ally see the gar­den but now you can.” H

Glaz­ing (and lots of it) is key to the suc­cess of this new ex­ten­sion, but it re­quired care­ful planning, par­tic­u­larly when it came to achiev­ing a build­ing war­rant (re­quired in Scot­land, sim­i­lar to Build­ing Reg­u­la­tions’ ap­proval). Ar­chi­tect Nikki Ritchie ex­plains: “The reg­u­la­tion that we ap­plied, a ‘ heated stand-alone build­ing’, comes un­der the En­ergy Sec­tion. Un­der this rule, the amount of glass is un­lim­ited for a stand-alone build­ing up to 50m2. This ex­ten­sion is al­most ex­actly 50m2 — we pushed the rule to the limit to achieve what the home­own­ers wanted, which was a highly glazed gar­den room which makes the most of views of the gar­den.

“In order to com­ply, the ex­ten­sion needed to be ther­mally bro­ken from the rest of the house — so the doors be­tween the liv­ing area and the ex­ten­sion are dou­ble-glazed ex­ter­nal qual­ity doors. The glaz­ing on the façade is Me­tal Tech­nol­ogy’s ther­mally en­hanced Hi+ alu­minium sys­tem, supplied by Crest Glaz­ing in Aberdeen. On this project, the façade glass isn’t ac­tu­ally curved. Each unit is flat and they are joined to make the curve (bot­tom right). We have used curved glass be­fore, but it is very ex­pen­sive to do us­ing dou­ble-glazed units. Here, the curve is very shal­low so the ef­fect is that it still looks curved,” ex­plains Nikki.

The glaz­ing on the roof (cen­tre) was supplied by Gray and Dick of Glas­gow. “Be­fore ap­point­ing a main con­trac­tor, we had al­ready been in dis­cus­sion with Gray and Dick about the glaz­ing of the rooflights as they were a fairly spe­cial­ist item,” Nikki con­tin­ues. “The rooflights needed to be de­signed to al­low a per­son to walk over them (in the event of a fire, the master bed­room escape route is over the glass). The rooflights have been spec­i­fied with a self-clean­ing coat­ing added so that they stay as clean as pos­si­ble.” H

A New Gar­den Room The new steel-framed gar­den room, with its curved form and glazed façade, al­lows the fam­ily to make the most of their gar­den views and pro­vides a greater con­nec­tion be­tween inside and out. Rooflights help to bring in light from above, w

Re­tain­ing Pe­riod Fea­tures With a view to blend­ing old with the new, ex­ist­ing fea­tures such as the full-height ceil­ings, chan­de­liers and in­ter­nal doors be­tween the liv­ing and din­ing space were re­tained. New open­ings through frame­less glass doors ( right o

In­ter­nal Fin­ish­ings The Lewis’s worked in col­lab­o­ra­tion with lo­cal in­te­rior de­sign firm An­der­sons of In­verurie to re­flect their mod­ern style. A sim­ple mono­chrome colour scheme was cho­sen for the new gar­den room that fea­tures ce­ramic floor tiles. Con­tempo

The K nowl­edge GLAZ­ING

DUR­ING CON­STRUC­TION

BE­FORE

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